In the first five years, your child’s brain develops rapidly than at any other time in his/her life. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with an opportunistic environment filled with positive quality experiences since these experiences will have a lasting impact on your child’s life, their health and on their ability to perform and succeed in schools.
As with all other developmental areas, Speech and language development occurs the most during the first five years of your child’s life. The below chart indicates guidelines that will help you determine if your child is developing the appropriate speech and language milestone at his/her age. While every child is unique and develops at their own rate, there is a natural timetable that indicates when most of the children will reach each milestone as indicated in the chart.
Please note, while this chart includes most of the milestones that children reach in their age, it does not list all the milestones. Each child develops at their own rate and hence missing one milestone does not necessarily mean your child has any issues. This chart is for reference purposes only. If you feel there is any issues, please visit your doctor immediately, since early intervention and prevention is most beneficial to your child.
Age group : Birth to 6months
Responds to environment sounds
Recognizes familiar voices.
Makes sounds such as babbling, coos, gurgles etc..
Moves eyes in the direction of sound.
Makes different sounds of crying for different needs.
Loud sounds will startle them.
Makes different noises or sounds to attract attention.
Age group : 6months to 1 year
Looks in direction of sounds.
Listens to others speaking.
Recognizes common words and responds to his/her own name.
Enjoys listening to songs and rhymes.
Uses gestures and imitates speech sounds.
Uses 1 to 3 words together.
Age group : 1 to 2 years
Points to things & few body parts
Follows simple directions.
Understands and responds to simple questions.
Enjoys games like peek-a-boo.
Puts two words together.
Copy sounds and words and actions of others.
Uses various vowels and constants when they babble.
Age group : 2 to 3 years
Follows 2-step directions
Uses 2-3 words together
Listens to stories
Imitates certain words
Names certain objects
Answers simple “where” questions.
Understands simple opposites.
Age group : 3 to 4 years
Uses 4-5 word together.
Understands family words
Talks about activities & stories
Speech is mostly understandable
Answers simple “Who”, “what” and “where” questions
understands certain colors and shapes
Age group : 4 to 5 years
Understands more complicated words.
Follows complex instructions or longer directions such as brush your teeth.
listens to and understands most of what is said in home, school or around them.
Can say the letters and numbers.
Can tell you short stories.
Follows classroom directions.
If at any time you feel your child has a speech or language disorder, it is important to consult with a pediatrician or speech therapist at the earliest possible so that the cause of the speech disorder can be identified, prevented and eliminated through speech therapy. A Nursery is an additional option that is recommended by most Speech therapists. Online forums such as http://windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?386630-Did-preschool-help-your-child-with-a-speech-delay, discusses on how a good quality nursery can help your child. However, it is important to primarily meet a pediatrician or speech therapist.