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Speech-language development focuses on the ability to use and understand language at an age-appropriate level.
Children develop language at their own rate. Some kids develop faster or slower than others.
If your child does not seem to acquire the appropriate language skills within a few months of the average age, you should consider a speech-language evaluation.
The ability to understand what is being said. Typically, understanding develops ahead of expressive language.
A child's ability to use language and to put words together into sentences to express his or herself.
Quiets activity when approached by sound. Looks at speaker.
Begins to differentiate cries. Smiles.
Turns head towards sound sources. Begins to respond to words: no-no, mama, daddy.
Babbling begins and becomes more complex each month. Laughs at play.
Begins to respond with gestures to words such as, "up, bye-bye, come." Recognizes own name and some common objects. Begins to show interest in pictures.
Plays speech gesture games like patty cake or peek-a-boo.
Uses gesture for "yes" and "no."
Will give toys or objects to others on verbal request. Follows simple commands: "Put that down." Will make appropriate responses to some requests: “Say bye-bye.”
First words: “mama” and “dada.”
Vocalizes in varied jargon. By one year says three consistent words.
Understands more and more new words each week. Understands names of body parts. Comprehends most simple commands.
Says 20 consistent words. Begins to use words rather than gestures. There is a continual, gradual increase in expressive vocabulary.
Follows action word commands: run, walk. Begins comprehending personal pronouns.
Listens to the meaning of language, not just the intonation and single words. Answers “what, who, and where” questions by pointing.
Begins combining words into 2-3 word utterances.
Refers to self by name. Personal pronouns “me” and “mine”emerge.
Begins to identify objects by function. Develops understanding of prepositions: on, under, front.
Understands possessives: boy’s coat, girl’s ball. Answers situational questions: “What do you wear when it rains?”
Counts to five.
Begins to use “wh” questions: "why, what, who, ect." Most people can understand conversation. Regularly relates recent past.
Can categorize objects. Knows age at next birthday. Understands comparative such as bigger and biggest. Can answer questions about past, present and future.
Uses 5-6 word sentences. Completes 3 opposites: “A rabbit is fast, a turtle is ____.” Uses adjectives: “tiny, large, smooth.”
Grammar closely matches parents.
Understands past tense. Can follow a two-part unrelated command. Knows most body parts. Can answer some “why” and “how” questions. Uses 4-5 word sentences.
Uses plural forms correctly. Can relate name and address along with age and gender.
Uses past and present words.
Language disorders in children can lead to long-term problems affecting learning, school achievement and behavior.
SIGNS OF LANGUAGE DISORDERS
Difficulty understanding and using grammar.
Problems understanding and choosing words to express ideas.
Problems understanding and using language for a variety of purposes and situations.
The ability to understand language
The ability to hear differences in sounds. For example, “car” and “tar” mean two different things.
Being able to remember what is heard. For example, repeating a series of words or following two-step directions.
Understanding what new vocabulary words and concepts mean.
Understanding different grammatical forms. For example, understanding that “dog” and “dogs” mean two different things.
The skills needed to use language
Choosing word forms and word order appropriately. For example, saying past tense words and plurals with –ed or –s on the end.
Choosing the best words to express a thought. For example, saying the word “socks” instead of “stuff.”
Using a wide variety of social language functions. For example, starting conversations, asking questions, using greetings and farewells and talking about an event.