Do you have some concerns about your child’s speech development?
Maybe you’ve noticed you’re not exactly relating to the stories of other parents around you when it comes to your children’s language learning.
Speech development happens at different rates for everyone, so often there’s no need to worry.
However, if you have persistent concerns about your child staying on track, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on their speech developmental milestones.
If you think they’re behind other children their age, don’t worry.
There’s plenty of help out there for your family, including here at our speech therapy Austin clinic.
But before we dig into that, keep reading to find out more about the developmental milestones for speech you can expect your child to be reaching.
What Are Speech Development Milestones?
Speech developmental milestones are guidelines so you can know if your children are developing language at rates similar to their peers.
Of course, not every child is the same, and everyone learns at their own pace.
If they’re not hitting these milestones, it may indicate that they need a little extra help.
Difficulties in keeping up with milestones could also indicate an underlying condition which may require speech therapy.
This can include:
- Speech therapy for autism spectrum disorder
- Speech therapy for central auditory processing disorder
- Speech therapy for dyslexia
- Speech therapy for childhood apraxia of speech
- Speech therapy for feeding and swallowing disorders
- Speech therapy for speech sound disorders
- And many more
However, it’s also possible that your child doesn’t have an identifiable speech disorder – this is known as idiopathic speech developmental delay.
Regardless, if your child is a little bit behind meeting these milestones but they seem to be showing progress toward them, it’s not generally cause for concern.
But if the milestone has passed and they aren’t progressing toward it, it’s a good idea to contact us to book an appointment.
Even if it’s nothing to be concerned about, the peace of mind you’ll get can provide relief.
And if there is an issue, early intervention speech therapy has been shown to deliver better results than just waiting it out.
What Speech Development Milestones Are Expected Of Children?
While remembering that each child is different, it’s good to have an idea of when certain milestones are usually reached.
Here we’ll provide a rough guide of milestones so you can gauge where your child is at.
Milestones indicate where your child’s speech development will usually be by certain ages.
By Three Months Old
At three months, your child should have started to recognize your voice.
They may smile when they see you or make cooing noises.
You may have also noticed that they’ve developed different cries for different needs.
By Six Months Old
By six months old your baby will usually make noises when they’re spoken to.
They’ll probably start babbling, making a variety of sounds, and responding to changes in the tone of your voice.
They will also notice that toys make certain sounds and pay more attention to music when it’s playing.
By One Year Old
By one year old your child will have started to directly communicate – they should understand the word “no,” babble consistently, and communicate with gestures.
They will usually start trying to imitate speech sounds they hear.
Often by a year old your child will have said their first word.
By Eighteen Months Old
By eighteen months old your child should recognize the names of familiar family members.
They’ll usually have developed a vocabulary of four to ten words and can follow simple directions if they’re accompanied by gestures.
They will also be able to answer questions nonverbally and attempt to imitate simple sounds.
By Two Years Old
By two years old your child will be asking two word questions, such as “where go?”
Their vocabulary will have developed to around fifty words.
Their speech should be developed enough that you and their other primary caregivers can understand them consistently.
By Three Years Old
At this age, your child should be able to understand and express concepts, such as the spatial concept of “on” or “in.”
They should also be able to start using pronouns like “me” and “her”, and descriptive adjectives like “big” or “happy”.
They’ll be able to ask simple questions and will start describing plural nouns, such as “shoes.”
By Four Years Old
By four years old your child should be able to group objects like food or shapes together.
While some of the more difficult sounds (like r, s, and ch) may still be a challenge, they should be able to use most different speech sounds.
The days of interpreting for your child will begin to be behind you, as they should be able to be understood by most people at this point.
By Five Years Old
At this age, sequences of time such as “before” and “after” should be understood by your child.
They should be able to carry out a series of three directions, engage in conversations, and understand rhyming.
Their sentences may be eight words or more in length and will become more complex.
What If My Child Is Falling Behind With Meeting Speech Development Milestones?
While milestones give you a vague outline, no child fits into an exact timeline as they develop.
If your child seems to be a few weeks off but they’re still progressing, it’s not a big deal.
However, if they continue to fall behind significantly and don’t seem to be progressing in their speech development, this could be a sign of an underlying condition.
In that case, it’s a good idea to check in with a speech therapist for an evaluation.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy Today
If you’re concerned your child isn’t reaching their language developmental milestones, we’re here to help.
This can feel like a difficult time, but we’re here to make navigating these milestones easier for you and your child.
Book your appointment with Sol Speech and Language Therapy today to get started.
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.