Speech & Language Milestones - Advance Your Speech
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Speech & Language Milestones

Receptive Language

Birth to 3 Months Old

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
  • Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to sound

4 to 6 Months Old

  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music

7 Months to 1 Year Old

  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes words for common items like “cup”, “shoe”, “book”, or “juice”
  • Begins to respond to requests (i.e. “Come here” or “Want more?”

1 to 2 Years Old

  • Points to a few body parts when asked
  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions (“Roll the ball,” “Kiss the baby,” “Where’s your shoe?”)
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Points to pictures in a book when named

2 to 3 Years Old

  • Understands differences in meaning (“go-stop,” “in-on,” “big-little,” “up-down”)
  • Follows two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table”)
  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time

3 to 4 Years Old

  • Hears you when you call from another room
  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members
  • Answers simple “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, and “why?” questions

4 to 5 Years Old

  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about them
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
Expressive Language

Birth to 3 Months Old

  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when sees you

4 to 6 Months Old

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b, and m
  • Chuckles and laughs
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you

7 Months to 1 Year Old

  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibibi”
  • Uses speech or noncrying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms to be picked up)
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around first birthday, although sounds may not be clear

1 to 2 Years Old

  • Says more words every month
  • Uses some one or two word questions (“Where kitty?” “Go bye-bye?” “What’s that?”)
  • Puts two words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”)
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words

2 to 3 Years Old

  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses two or three words to talk about and ask for things
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them

3 to 4 Years Old

  • Talks about activities at school or at friends’ homes
  • People outside of the family usually understand child’s speech
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words

4 to 5 Years Old

  • Uses sentences that give lots of details (“The biggest peach is mine”)
  • Tells stories that stick to topic
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th
  • Says rhyming words
  • Names some letters and numbers
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family

The information above can be found at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm

Child Development Milestones

6 Months Old

  • Vocalization with intonation
  • Responds to his name
  • Responds to human voices without visual cues by turning his head and eyes
  • Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones

12 Months Old

  • Uses one or more words with meaning (this may be a fragment of a word)
  • Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or physical cues are given
  • Practices inflection
  • Is aware of the social value of speech

18 Months Old

  • Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
  • Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
  • Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
  • Much jargon with emotional content
  • Is able to follow simple commands

2 Years Old

  • Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
  • Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
  • Combines words into a short sentence-largely noun-verb combinations (mean) length of sentences is given as 1.2 words
  • Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
    Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
  • Rhythm and fluency often poor
  • Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
  • Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
  • My and mine are beginning to emerge
  • Responds to such commands as “show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)”

3 Years Old

  • Use pronouns I, you, me correctly
  • Is using some plurals and past tenses
  • Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under
  • Knows chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name
  • Handles three word sentences easily
  • Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words
  • About 90% of what child says should be intelligible
  • Verbs begin to predominate
  • Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities
  • Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason
  • Able to reason out such questions as “what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cool, or thirsty?”
  • Should be able to give his sex, name, age
  • Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected

4 Years Old

  • Knows names of familiar animals
  • Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands
  • Names common objects in picture books or magazines
  • Knows one or more colors
  • Can repeat 4 digits when they are given slowly
  • Can usually repeat words of four syllables
  • Demonstrates understanding of over and under
  • Has most vowels and diphthongs and the consonants p, b, m, w, n well established
  • Often indulges in make-believe
  • Extensive verbalization as he carries out activities
  • Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented
  • Readily follows simple commands even thought the stimulus objects are not in sight
  • Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds

5 Years Old

  • Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
  • Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
  • Has number concepts of 4 or more
  • Can count to ten
  • Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
  • Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
  • Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
  • Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
  • Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
  • Should know his age
  • Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
  • Tomorrow, yesterday, today
  • Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
  • Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

6 Years Old

  • In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th,1
  • He should have concepts of 7
  • Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
  • Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships
  • Between objects and happenings

7 Years Old

  • Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
  • Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc
  • Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc
  • Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
  • Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

8 Years Old

  • Can relate rather involved accounts of events, many of which occurred at some time in the past
  • Complex and compound sentences should be used easily
  • Should be few lapses in grammatical constrictions-tense, pronouns, plurals
  • All speech sounds, including consonant blends should be established
  • Should be reading with considerable ease and now writing simple compositions
  • Social amenities should be present in his speech in appropriate situations
  • Control of rate, pitch, and volume are generally well and appropriately established
  • Can carry on conversation at rather adult level
  • Follows fairly complex directions with little repetition
  • Has well developed time and number concept