Is Your Child On Track? Speech and Language Milestones

Is your child's speech and language normal?If you’re like most parents, you’ve spent time worrying about whether your child’s language is on track or if they’re behind where they should be developmentally. Determining whether your child is developing along a “normal” timeline can be tricky; every child develops language in their own way, and what may seem like a delay is often completely normal. However, a legitimate language or communication issue can sometimes alert parents to more significant developmental issues which can then be treated. Today, we’ll provide you with a list of some general speech, language, and communication milestones that are common in early childhood.

One to Two Years

  • Responds to simple commands and questions (“Point to the kitty”)
  • Starts to combine words in two-word phrases (e.g. “more milk”, “Daddy play”, “no bath”)
  • Uses some one- or two-word questions (“Where Daddy?”, “Go bye-bye?”)
  • Begins to use pronouns, such as “mine”

Two to Three Years

  • Speech is clear enough to be understood by familiar listeners (e.g. family members) most of the time
  • Follows two-step requests (“Get your toy and put it on the floor.”)
  • Uses two- or three-word sentences to talk about and ask for things

Three to Four Years

  • Unfamililar listeners (e.g. people outside the family) usually understand child’s speech
  • Answers simple, “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, and “why?” questions
  • 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

If your child does not seem to be on target with each and every milestone, this doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong—again, children can vary widely in their developmental patterns. But if your child seems to be consistently behind in several areas, you may want to consider having a full speech and language evaluation conducted to rule out any significant problems. A speech-language pathologist can help you determine if your child’s delays are typical or if they may be indicative of a communication disorder.

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!

© 2015, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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