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Are My Child's Speech & Language Skills Typically Developing?

It is so important to identify and treat speech and language delays as early as possible. If you have any concerns regarding your child's speech and language development, it is best to reach out to a speech-language pathologist to assess your child's development.

As a general guideline, below are some appropriate developmental milestones to consider. Children typically develop the skills by the end of the age range.

Birth-1 year old:

  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds

  • Looks when you point

  • Responds to own name

  • Understands words for familiar objects and people

  • Starts to respond to simple words and phrases (e.g., "no")

  • Participates in social games with gestures (e.g., peek-a-boo)

  • Babbles long strings of sounds (e.g., bababa)

  • Uses gestures functionally (e.g., waving bye, reaching for "up," shaking head no)

  • Says "mama" or "dada" meaningfully and exclamations like "uh oh"

  • Begins to imitate familiar words


1-2 years old:

  • Understands "come here" and "sit down"

  • Identifies several body parts

  • Follows 1-step commands during play (e.g., "roll the ball")

  • Understands some early prepositions (e.g., "in" and "on")

  • Understands familiar action words

  • Points to pictures in a book when named

  • Uses single words frequently

  • Imitates/ begins to spontaneously use 2-word combinations (e.g., "drink milk")

  • Asks for "more"

  • Refers to self by name

  • Asks simple wh- questions (e.g., "What's that?" "Where's doggy?")

  • Uses social words (e.g., bye, hi, thank you, please)

  • Uses a variety of consonant sounds (e.g., p, b, m, h, w)

2-3 years old

  • Follows 2-step related and unrelated commands

  • Performs action words on request

  • Understands early pronouns

  • Understands early descriptive words

  • Understands opposites (e.g., go/stop, big/little, up/down)

  • Comprehends number concepts (e.g., one and two)

  • Recognizes family members' names

  • Identifies objects by function

  • Uses location words (e.g., in, on, under)

  • Refers to self by name then pronoun by ~27-30 months

  • Asks for help when needed

  • Uses 3-word phrases

  • Uses negation

  • Uses plurals (e.g., 2 socks)

  • Uses present progressive -ing (e.g., crying)

  • Answers early "wh-" questions

  • Holds up fingers to tell age

  • Responds to greetings consistently

  • Helps put things away

  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n in words

3-4 years old

  • Understands more pronouns

  • Follows 3-step directions

  • Understands more complex prepositions

  • Begins to comprehend When, Why and How Questions

  • Understands the concepts same/different

  • Expresses ideas and feelings

  • Most people understand what your child is saying

  • Uses articles

  • Uses possessives

  • Uses more pronouns

  • Uses more verb forms

  • Tells stories

  • Talks about what happened during the day using about 4 sentences at a time

  • Participates in rhyming games

This is not an exhaustive list and a single indicator does not necessarily mean your child needs speech and language therapy. If you have any concerns, act early and call us today!

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