Speech and Language Milestones

Children are at risk of developing social, emotional, behavioural and/or learning problems if speech, language and/ or hearing problems are not identified early. If you are concerned that your child is not meeting their speech and language milestones contact us.

Birth to 3 months:

Does the child:

  • make cooing sounds

  • have different cries for different needs

  • smile at you

  • startle to loud sounds

  • soothe/calm to a familiar voice

4 to 6 months:

Does the child:

  • babble and make different sounds

  • make sounds back when you talk

  • enjoy games like peek-a-boo

  • turn his/her eyes toward a sound source

  • respond to music or toys that make noise

7 to 12 months:

Does the child:

  • wave hi/bye

  •  respond to his/her name

  • let you know what he/she wants using sounds, and/or actions like pointing

  • begin to follow simple directions (e.g., Where is your nose?)

  • localize correctly to sound by turning his/her head toward the sound

  • pay attention when spoken

By 12 to 18 months:

Does the child:

  • use common words and start to put words together

  • enjoy listening to storybooks

  • point to body parts or pictures in a book when asked

  • look at your face when talking to you

By 18 to 24 months:

Does the child:

  • understand more words than he/she can say

  • say two words together (e.g., More juice)

  • ask simple questions (e.g., What’s that?)

  • take turns in a conversation

2 to 3 years:

Does the child:

  • use sentences of three or more words most of the time

  • understand different concepts (e.g., in-on; up-down)

  • follow two-part directions (e.g., take the book and put it on the table)

  • answer simple questions (e.g., here is the car?)

  • participate in short conversations

3 to 4 years

Does the child:

  • tell a short story or talk about daily activities

  • talk in sentences with adult-like grammar

  • generally speak clearly so people understand

  • hear you when you call from another room

  • listen to TV at the same volume as others

  • answer a variety of questions

4 to 5 years:

Does the child:

  • pronounce most speech sounds correctly

  • participate in and understand conversations even in the presence of background noise

  • recognize familiar signs (e.g., stop sign)

  • make up rhymes

  • hear and understand most of what is said at home and school

  • listen to and retell a story and ask and answer questions about a story