Speech Milestones to Determine If Your Child Is Developing On Time by Chicago Speech Therapy

Do you wonder if your child’s speech is comparable to other children of the same age and background?  Are you worried about your child’s ability to understand and communicate with you?  Here is a quick list of milestones that you can use to gauge your child’s progress in his or her first five years:

0-5 Months

  • Reacts to sounds; turns head towards source in recognition
  • Shows happiness and sadness; crying and laughing
  • Looks at you when you are talking
  • Makes noise when spoken to

6-12 Months

  • Understands “no-no”
  • Uses gestures; grabbing or swiping
  • “Baby-talk”; babbling or cooing “goo-goo, ba-ba, ma-ma”

12-17 Months

  • Pays attention to books or toys for short time, for example for 2 minutes at a time
  • Answers simple questions non-verbally
  • Points to objects and family members
  • Tries to copy or imitate words and sounds (may not be clear)

18-23 Months

  • Likes stories read to him or her
  • Can understand and follow simple commands
  • Recognizes and points to people and/or objects
  • Can say 8-10 words (may not be clear to listener)
  • Asks for a number of foods by name
  • Imitates animal sounds like “moo”

2-3 Years

  • Knows about 50 words ( i.e. you, me, up, on)
  • Speech becoming clearer and easier to understand
  • Can answer simple questions

3-4 Years

  • Can identify colors
  • Uses consonants and beginning, middle and end sounds of words
  • Can make sh, th, r, y, c sounds
  • Strangers can understand speech

4-5 Years

  • Understands complex questions and can answer them
  • Uses over 200 words
  • Answers “why?”
  • Defines basic words
  • Can speak full sentences

These are just a few things to look out for when watching your child develop. Remember that this list is just a basic framework and is not a comprehensive guide to answer your specific questions. If you are wondering about a specific reaction or speech pattern that this is not included in this list, please contact us for an information packet, or to speak with a speech pathologist.

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"Elizabeth was an incredibly communicative and supportive therapist for our daughter. We saw impressive improvement quickly, and our 2yo often looked forward to their weekly sessions. Our daughter just graduated from speech and we're so grateful for Elizabeth's expertise, empathy, and support over the past year!"

"We had the most wonderful experience with Chicago Speech Therapy! Our speech pathologist, Miss Megan, developed a bond with our son almost immediately. By week two, he would await her arrival by the window in our front door! She quickly discovered all of his favorite things and would bring so many toys of her own that would keep him engaged and wanting to talk! She gave us (parents) tons of strategies to work with on our own in between her weekly visits. Our son made consistent progress under her care and has now been released from speech therapy ~ which actually makes us so sad ~ simply because we miss Miss Megan! She basically became part of our family and will be dearly missed. I couldn’t recommend Miss Megan and Chicago Speech Therapy more!"

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Speech Therapy Services We Offer

Our expert speech-language pathologists are equipped to address a wide range of communication challenges, providing tailored solutions for each child's unique needs. From early language development to complex communication disorders, we offer comprehensive support at every stage of your child's journey.