Speech Language Milestones

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

One to Two Years
  • Points to a few body parts when asked
  • Follows simple commands and understand simple questions ("roll the ball," " kiss the baby," "where's your shoe?")
  • Points to pictures in a book when named
  • 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
  • Listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes
What can you do to help?
  • Talk while doing things and going places, When taking a walk in the stroller, for example, point to familiar objects and say their names.
  • Use simple speech that is easy for your child to imitate
  • Make bath time "sound playtime" as well. You are eye-level with your child. Play with Peter Tugboat, who says "p-p-p-p." Let your child feel the air of the sounds as you make them. Blow bubbles and make the "b-b-b-b." Feel the motor in your throat on this sound. Engines on the toys can make a wonderful "rrr-rrrr-rrr" sound. 
  • Expand n words. For example,, if your child says "car", you respond by saying, " You're right! That is a big red car."
  • Find time to read to your child every day. Try to find books with large pictures and one or two words or phrases on each page. When reading to your child, take time to name and describe the pictures on each page.
  • Have your child point to pictures that you name.
  • Ask your child to name pictures He or she may not respond to your naming request at first. Just name the punctures for him or her. One day, he or she will surprise you by coming out with a pictures name! 





//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////////////////////

Image by Jose Ibarra
Two to Three Years
  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for loner periods of time
  • Follows two requests ("Get the book and put it on the table")
  • Understands differences in meaning ("go-stop," "in-on," " big-little," "up-down,")
  • Has a world 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 
  • Asks why
  • May stutter on words or sounds
What can I do to help?
  • Use clear, simple speech that is easy to imitate

  • Show your child that you are interested in what he or she says to you by repeating what he or she has said and expanding on it.

  • Let your child know that what he or she has to say is important to you by asking him or her to repeat things that you do not completely understand.

  • Expand on  your child's vocabulary. Introduce new vocabulary through reading books that have a simple sentence on each page. 

  • Talk about colors (e.g. "Sam's hat is red.")

  • Practice counting. Count toes and fingers. count steps as you go down them. 

  • Look at family photos and name the people. Use simple phrases/sentences to describe the pictures.

  • Continue to sing songs, play finger games and tell nursery rhymes.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////////////////////

Three to Four Years
  • Hears you when you call from another room
  •  Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members
  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green
  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt
  • Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes
  • Talks about what happened during the day
  • Uses about 4 sentences at a time
  • People outside of the family usually understand child's speech
  • Answers simple "who?", "what?", "when?," and "where", questions
  • Asks when and how questions
  • Says rhyming words, like hat-cat
  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we and they
  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables, or words 
 
What can you do to help?
  • Use clear, simple speech that is easy to imitate
  • Sort out pictures and items into categories, but increase the challenge by asking your child to point out the item that does not belong in a category. 
  • Expand vocabulary and length of your child's utterances by reading, singing, talking about what you are doing and where you are going
  • Read books that have a simple plot, and talk about the story line with your child. Help your child to retell the story or at it out with props and dress-up clothes. Tell him or her your favorite part and ask for his or her favorite part
  • Work on comprehension skills by asking your child questions. Have him or her try to fool you with him or her own questions. Make this game playful by pretending that you have been fooled by some of his or her really hard questions. 
  • Expand on social communication and storytelling skills by 'acting out" typical scenarios with a dollhouse and its props. Do the same type of role-playing activity when playing dress-up

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

/////////////////////////////

Four to Five Years
  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time
  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last. Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Follows longer directions, like "Put your pajamas on ,brush your teeth, and then pick out a book"
  • Follows classroom directions, like "Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat"
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
  • Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, x, ch, sh, th
  • Responds to "What did you say?"
  • Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time
  • Names letters and numbers
  • Uses sentences that have more that 1 action word, like jump, play and get
  • Tells a short story 
  • Can contribute to a back and forth conversation
What can I do to help?
  • Use clear, simple speech that is easy to imitate
  • Talk about spatial relationships (first, middle, and last; right and left) and opposites (up and down, big and little)
  • Offer a description or clues and have your child identify what you are describing
  • Work on forming and explaining categories
  • Follow your child's directions as she or he explains how to do something
  • Give full attention to your child when he or she is speaking, and acknowledge, praise, and encourage him or her afterward
  • Build on your child's vocabulary. Provide definitions for new words, and use them in context
  • Encourage your child to ask for an explanation if her or she does not understand what a word means
  • Point out things that are the same or different
  • Expand on social communication by role-playing. Play house, doctor, and store using dialogue, props, and dress-up clothes. 
  • Give your child two-step directions. Encourage your child to give directions to explain how he or she has done something

 

Milestones referenced from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

www.asha.org