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Speech and Language Milestones

6 Months

  • Vocalization with intonation
  • Responds to name
  • Responds to human voices without visual cues by turning head and eyes
  • Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones

12 Months

  • Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or physical cues are given
  • Practices inflection
  • Is aware of the social value of speech

18 Months

  • Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
  • Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
  • Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
  • Much jargon with emotional content
  • Is able to follow simple commands

24 Months

  • Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
  • Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
  • Combines words into a short sentence (nouns and verbs)
  • Average length of sentences is given as 1.2 words
  • Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
  • Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
  • Rhythm and fluency often poor
  • Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
  • Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
  • My and mine are beginning to emerge
  • Responds to such commands as "show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)"

36 Months

  • Use pronouns I, you, me correctly
  • Is using some plurals and past tenses
  • Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under
  • Knows chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name
  • Handles three word sentences easily
  • Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words
  • About 90% of what child says should be intelligible
  • Verbs begin to predominate
  • Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities
  • Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason
  • Able to reason out such questions as "what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cool, or thirsty?"
  • Should be able to give his sex, name, age
  • Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected

48 Months

  • Knows names of familiar animals
  • Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands
  • Names common objects in picture books or magazines
  • Knows one or more colors
  • Can repeat 4 digits when they are given slowly
  • Can usually repeat words of four syllables
  • Demonstrates understanding of over and under
  • Has most vowels, diphthongs and the consonants p, b, m, w, n
  • Often indulges in make-believe
  • Extensive verbalization as he carries out activities
  • Readily follows simple commands even though the stimulus objects are not in sight
  • Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds

60 Months

  • Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
  • Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heavy-light, etc
  • Has number concepts of 4 or more
  • Can count to ten
  • Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
  • Should have all vowels and the consonants, m, p, b, h, w, k, g, t, d, n, ng, y
  • Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
  • Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
  • Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
  • Should know his age
  • Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while, tomorrow, yesterday, today
  • Should be using fairly long sentences (compound/complex)
  • Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

6 Years

  • In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th, 1
  • He should have concepts of 7
  • Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
  • Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships between objects and happenings

7 Years

  • Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
  • Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp, short-long, sweet-sour, etc.
  • Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc.
  • Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
  • Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

8 Years

  • Can relate rather involved accounts of events, many  of which occurred at some time in the past
  • Complex and compound sentences should be used easily
  • Should be few lapses in grammatical constrictions-tense, pronouns, plurals
  • All speech sounds, including consonant blends should be established
  • Should be reading with considerable ease and now writing simple compositions
  • Social amenities should be present in his speech in appropriate situations
  • Control of rate, pitch, and volume are generally well and appropriately established
  • Can carry on conversation at rather adult level
  • Follows fairly complex directions with little repetition
  • Has well developed time and number concepts

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