Typical Developmental Milestones

 

1 Year Old:

  • Understands a variety of words

  • Expressive vocabulary of 3-20 words by 18 months

  • Expressive vocabulary of 50 words by second birthday

2 Years Old:

  • Expressive vocabulary of 200 words

  • Combining two-three words together in phrases (i.e. more juice)

  • Beginning to use simple grammar (verb + ing as in eating, running), (plurals)

  • Others can understand 70% of child’s speech

2 1/2 Year Old:

  • Expressive vocabulary of 500 words

  • Can ask simple questions (i.e. What’s that?)

  • Uses pronouns “I, me, my, you”

  • Understands concepts “in/on/under”, “big/little”

3 Years Old:

  • Expressive vocabulary of 800 words

  • Combining 4-6 words in phrases or sentences

  • Follows directions involving 2-3 objects (i.e. Get your coat and shoes)

  • Can answer simple questions (i.e. What do you do when you are tired?)

  • Others can understand most of child’s speech

  • Uses compound sentences with “and”

  • Beginning to ask questions (mostly “what” and “who”)

  • Uses “is, are, am” in sentences

3 1/2 Years Old:

  • Expressive vocabulary of 1,000-1,500 words

  • Others can understand most of child’s speech

  • Can hold long, detailed conversations

  • Can answer situational questions (i.e. What do you do when you are tired/sleepy/hungry?)

  • Asks “how, why, when” questions looking for detailed explanations

4 Years Old:

  • Should be few omissions and substitutions of consonants in speech

  • Very intelligible in connected speech

  • Knows above, below, between, top, bottom

  • Irregular plurals are consistent (child/children, man/men)

  • Combines 4-7 words in sentences

  • Produces most speech sounds correctly

  • Asks the meaning of words

4 1/2 Years Old:

  • Most consonant sounds are used consistently and accurately

  • Can tell first/middle/last name

  • Tells a long story accurately

  • Asks the meaning of words

  • Combines 5-8 words in sentences

5 Years Old:

  • Understands more difficult concepts (yesterday/tomorrow, more/less, many/few, before/after, now/later

  • Can state similarities and differences of objects

  • Can tell opposites

  • All pronouns are used consistently (she, her, him, his, they, them)

When to Refer to a Speech Language Pathologist

 

18 months:   Does not speak any words

2 Years Old:   Does not have an expressive vocabulary of 50 words

2 1/2 Years Old:   Does not combine two words together

3 Years Old:

  • Parents have to interpret child’s speech to others on a regular basis

  • Cannot answer “who” or “what “ questions

  • Child shows frustration at not being understood by others

  • Physical behaviors take the place of verbal communication (i.e. hitting, pointing)

  • Does not use the following sounds correctly in conversational speech: n, m, p, b, h, f, w, t, d, k, g

4 Years Old:

  • Only talks in 2-3 word phrases

  • Cannot answer “what”, “where” or “why” questions

  • Child shows frustration at not being understood by others

  • Speech is difficult to understand or unintelligible compared to peers

  • Does not use the following sounds correctly in conversational speech: p, b, m, h, t, d, k, g, y, f, n, w

5 Years Old:

  • Does not use grammatically correct speech

  • Produces 4-5 sounds incorrectly in speech (including r, l, s, z, sh, ch, v, j, th)

6 Years Old:

  • Produces more than 2 sounds incorrectly in conversation

  • Has difficulty following directions in the classroom

7 Years Old:   Produces one or more speech sounds incorrectly in conversation

It may be recommended that your child receive an assessment in the area of speech and/or language.  A standardized assessment will let you know if your child falls within the typical range of development for his or her age.  If there is a significant delay, therapy will be recommended. Early intervention is the key to success. Children who enter school with speech and language delays are at a higher risk for learning difficulties.

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