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.