It is important to discuss speech and language development, as well as other developmental concerns, with your child's pediatrician at routine well-child appointments. Although it may be difficult to tell whether your child is just immature in his or her ability to communicate or if your child has a problem that may require professional attention, the following developmental norms may provide useful information.
By Age One:
Between Age One and Two:
- understands "no"
- uses 10-20 words, including names
- combines two words such as "daddy bye-bye"
- waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake"
- makes the "sounds" of familiar animals
- gives a toy when asked
- uses words such as "more" to make wants known
- points to his or her toes, eyes and nose
- brings objects from another room when asked
Between Two and Three:
- identifies body parts
- carries on "conversation" with self and dolls
- asks "what's that?" and "where's my ___?"
- uses 2 word negative phrases such as "no want."
- forms some plurals by adding "s" (book-books)
- has a 450 word vocabulary
- gives first name, holds up fingers to tell age
- combines nouns and verbs "mommy go"
- understands simple time concepts: "last night", "tomorrow"
- refers to self as "me" rather than by name
- tires to get adult attention: "watch me"
- likes to hear same story repeated
- may say "no" when means "yes"
- talks to other children as well as adults
- solves problems by talking instead of hitting or crying
- answers "where" questions
- names common pictures and objects
- uses short sentences like "me want more" or "me want cookie"
- matches 3-4 colors, knows big and little
Between Three and Four:
- can tell a story
- has a sentence length of 4-5 words
- names at least one color
- understands "yesterday", "summer", "lunchtime", "tonight", "little-big"
- begins to obey requests like "put the block under the chair"
- knows his last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes
Between Four and Five:
- has sentence length of 4-5 words
- uses past tense correctly
- has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words
- points to colors red, blue, yellow and green
- indentifies triangles, circles and squares
- understands "in the morning", "next", "at night"
- can speak of imaginary conditions such as "I hope"
- asks many questions, asks "who?" and "why?"
Between Five and Six:
- has a sentence length of 5-6 words
- has a vocabulary of approximately 2000 words
- defines objects by their use (you can eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of
- knows spatial realtions like "on top", "behind", "far", and "near"
- knows address
- identifies a penny, nickel and dime
- knows common opposites like "big-little"
- understands "same" and "different"
- counts ten objects
- asks questions for information
- distinguishes left and right hand in self
- uses all types of sentences
Language is crucial in communicating ideas and expressing wants and needs to others.
Forms of language include reading, speaking, and writing. Speech is the spoken form of language. Children learn language and speech by listening to the language around them and practicing what they hear. When a SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) addresses language with a student it would generally refer to some area of semantics (word meaning), grammar (syntax and/or morphology, or pragmatics (use of language). These language problems can be recepive (impaired language comprehension), expressive (language production), or a combination of both.
Vocabulary/Semantics: This refers to the acquisition of words and their meaning. Vocabulary can be either "receptive" which is what you understand, or "expressive which is what you are able to use. Some instructional areas might be one or two word concepts, using or understanding verbs, adjectives, prepositions, categorization, definition, words with multiple meanings, analogies, figurative language and implied meanings.
Grammar-Syntax-Morphology: This refers to using correct word order and grammar. Some language problems require step by step instruction of plurals, possessives, verb tense, pronouns, Wh-questions, or sentence construction.
Pragmatics: This refers to actually using language to communicate. Students might need direct instruction on listening, question comprehension, problem solving, conversational skills, taking turns, and exchanging information."