• Speech & Language Development

    Speech and language skills develop over a continuum of time.  There aren’t hard and fast rules about when children acquire these skills but there are guidelines for when children develop the typical speech and language milestones.  The following is a summary of milestones from six months to 48 months of age. Stimulation ideas for different ages are also provided.  This information was taken from a list compiled by Mary Brooks and Deedra Engmann-Hartung and published by Pro-Ed. 





    6-8 months

    v    Makes many different sounds

    v    Reacts to voices

    v    Babbles for attention

    v    Tries to imitate sounds


    v    Respond verbally to your child’s babbling

    v    Play simple games like “Peek-a-Boo” & “Pat-a-Cake”

    v    Talk as you care for your child

    10-12 months

    v    Uses jargon (babbling that sounds like real speech)

    v    Recognizes his/her name

    v    Says two to three words

    10-12 months

    v    Talk, talk, talk but keep your sentences simple

    v    Recite nursery rhymes

    v    Read books every day

    12-18 months

    v    Understands simple directions

    v    Imitates familiar words

    v    Uses several words

    v    Understands “no”

    12-18 months

    v    Talk about everything you do

    v    Reward early efforts to produce new words

    v    Read, read, read

    18-24 months

    v    Follows simple commands

    v    Points and gestures to show wants

    v    Uses 10-20 words




    18-24 months

    v    Provide new experiences

    v    Talk about new experiences before, during and after

    v    Imitate and talk about environmental sounds (dogs, birds, sirens, etc.)


    24-30 months

    v    Understands and asks simple questions

    v    Has conversations with self and dolls

    v    Uses sentences of 2-3 words

    v    Listens to stories

    v    Uses about 300 words


    24-30 months

    v    Listen attentively

    v    Praise all efforts to talk

    v    Talk about what you see and what you do

    v    Ask thinking questions (Why…?)

    v    Remember READ every day

    30-36 months

    v    Uses short sentences

    v    Has a 450 word vocabulary

    v    Uses past tense and plurals

    30-36 months

    v    Continue to listen attentively, talk about everything and READ every day

    v    Engage you child in conversation

    v    Expand on your child’s language structure

    36-48 months

    v    Has a sentence length of 3-4 words and a vocabulary of 1000 words !

    v    Frequently practices by talking to self

    v    Asks “what” questions often

    v    Can tell a story or relay an idea

    v    Is developing the concepts of color and time (yesterday, tonight, etc.)

    36-48 months

    v    Continue to expand on his/her sentence structure

    v    Read longer stories and talk about them

    v    Encourage your child to tell stories using picture books

    v    Talk about past experiences

    v    Talk about the similarities and differences between things