Language Milestones: What’s Typical in Childhood Development?

14-4A common worry of many parents is whether their child is developing speech and language within the normal timeframe. Although every child develops language in their own way and in their own time, there are some speech, language and communication milestones which are fairly predictable. Last week, we talked about communication milestones from birth through a child’s first birthday. Today, we present part two in our series on childhood language development with linguistic milestones in early childhood:

One to Two Years

• Responds to simple commands and questions (“Hug the puppy”, “Where’s your shoe?”)

• Points to pictures in a book when named

• Uses some one- or two-word questions (“Where kitty?”, “Go bye-bye?” “What’s that?”).

• Makes animal sounds

• Starts to combine words in two-word phrases (e.g. “more milk”, “Daddy play”, “no bath”)

• Begins to use pronouns such as “mine”

Two to Three Years

• Follows two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table”).

• Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time.

• Uses two- or three-words to talk about and ask for things.

• Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.

• Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.

Three to Four Years

• Answers simple, “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, and “why?” questions.

• People outside family usually understand child’s speech

• Regularly uses sentences that have 4 or more words

• Uses most speech sounds but may distort some of the more difficult sounds such as l, r, s, sh, ch, y, v, z, th – these sounds may not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8

• Expresses ideas and feelings rather than just talking about the world around them

Not all children develop at the same rate and these milestones are certainly not hard and fast rules. However, if you feel your child is noticeably behind in several of these categories, a speech-language pathologist can help you determine if your child may benefit from speech therapy to aid in their speech and language development.

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2014, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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