Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

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Milestones 0-5 years  

The first five years of a child’s life is a formative time when they will rapidly develop their communication skills. The milestones indicated in this chart note when most children will achieve each milestone. Remember that every child develops at their own pace. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s speech and language development, please contact a Speech-Language Pathologist.

 

  • Responds to environmental sounds
  • Recognizes familiar voices
  • Smiles at familiar faces
  • Makes cooing sounds
  • Cries change for different needs
  • Looks in the direction of the sound
  • Responds to changes in the tone of your voice
  • Pays attention to music and toys that make sounds.
  • Babbles with sounds such as pa, ba, and mi.
  • Laughs and giggles.
  • Makes sounds to express happiness and anger.
  • Listens to others speech
  • Looks when you point to an object
  • Turns when you call their name
  • Recognizes words for common items like daddy, juice, cup
  • Responds to simple words and requests, like “No,” “Come here,” and “Want more?”
  • Plays games such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
  • Babbles using long string of sounds such as “mimi upup bababa.”
  • Points to objects and shows them to others
  • Uses gestures and imitates different speech sounds
  • Uses one to two words, like hi, dog, dada, mama, or uh-oh. (Closer to 1 Year)
  • Understands simple opposites such as big-little, up-down, and more
  • Follows 2-step directions “Get your shoes and put them on.”
  • Listens to stories
  • Uses 2-3-word phrases
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n in words
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners
  • May repeat some words and sounds.
  • Names objects. Seems to have a word for everything.
  • Asks “Why?”
  • Understand basic shapes and colors
  • Understands words for family such as brother, sister, grandma.
  • Talks about what happened during the day.
  • Speech is mostly understandable
  • Answers simple who, what, and where questions
  • Asks when and how questions
  • Uses some pronouns and plurals
  • Uses 3-4 words together and may make mistakes, like “I goed to park.”
  • Follows complex instructions
  • Understands words for order (first, next, last)
  • Understands words for time (yesterday, today, tomorrow)
  • Hears and understand most of what is said to them at home and school
  • Produces all speech sounds but may make mistakes on difficult sounds (l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th)
  • Names letters and numbers
  • Tells short stories and maintain conversation
  • Can adapt speech to listener. They may use longer sentences with adults and shorter sentences with younger children.

Compiled and adapted from information provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.