Below are some general guidelines for developmental expectations in communication. If your child is delayed, a speech and language evaluation may be indicated.
At 9 months, does your child:
- Attend to a speaker and pictures.
- Recognize the names of family members.
- Produce several different syllables.
- Vocalize to get attention.
At 12 months, does your child:
- Understand simple questions.
- Participate in speech routine games (e.g., peekaboo, pat-a-cake).
- Use 1-2 words.
At 18 months, does your child:
- Have at least ten words.
- Use simple gestures (waves, claps, points).
- Make sustained eye contact and engage your attention.
- Persist in communication attempts to get you to do something.
- Understand a variety of simple words/commands without a gesture.
At 24 months, does your child:
- Use over 50 words to communicate.
- Use several consonant sounds, including: p, b, m, t, d, n, h.
- Use several two word combinations (daddy car; more cookie).
- Use mostly words to communicate.
- Follow a variety of directions.
At 36 months, does your child:
- Engage in conversation.
- Use language in imaginative ways.
- Ask questions.
- Use more consonant sounds: k, g, f, t, d, n, m, b, p, h.
- Respond appropriately to yes/no and wh- questions.
- Follows 2-sep directions.
- Use early-developing grammatical markers (plural “s”, “-ing”, etc.)
At 48 months, does your child:
- Carry on conversations with adult-like grammar.
- Use pronouns: I, me, s/he, you appropriately.
- Ask and answer questions (e.g., who?, how?, how many? why?)
- Engage in complex pretend verbal play.
- Speech is understood by non-family members most of the time.
- Use more consonant sounds: p, d, m, w, h, n, t, b, k, g, f, v, y.
At 60 months, does your child:
- Participate in long, detailed conversations.
- Talk about past, future, and imaginative events.
- Retell stories or events.
- Follows three-step directions.
- Correctly produce speech sounds: p, d, m, w, h, n, t, b, k, g, f, v, y, s, z, j, th, sh, ch, l.