Speech & Language Developmental Milestones

Signs of a Language Disorder

  • Does not smile or interact with others (birth +)
  • Does not babble (4-7 mo.)
  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures (7-12 mo.)
  • Does not understand what others say (7 - 24 mo.)
  • Says only a few words (12-18 mo.)
  • Does not put words together (18 mo. - 3 years)

Signs of a Speech Disorder

  • Says p,b,m,h and w incorrectly in words (1-2 years)
  • Says k,g,f,t,d, and n incorrectly in words (2-3 years)
  • Unclear speech, even to familiar people (2-3 years)

Signs of stuttering

  • Struggles to say sounds or words (2.5 - 3 years)
  • Repeats first sounds of words - "b b b b ball" (2.5-3 years)
  • Pauses a lot while talking (2.5 - 3 years)
  • Stretches out sounds- "ffffffffarm" (2.5 - 3 years)
  • Learn more about stuttering here

Red flags - infancy

  • 2-6 mos: lack of response to sound, lack of interest in social interactions, no urge to communicate 
  • 6-12 mos: Loss of cooing or babbling
  • 12 mos: Failure to understand routines, produce mama/dada specifically 

Red flags - toddlers

  • 15-18 mos: Failure to use or understand pointing, poor understanding of words, no expressive vocabulary
  • 18-24 mos: Limited symbolic play, loss of communication skills
  • 24 mos:Lack of ability to follow commands, vocabulary <35-50 words, no 2-word utterances, rote memorization without novel phrases

red flags - preschool

  • 36 mos: Inability to follow 2-step commands, limited vocabulary, no simple sentences, < 1/2 to 1/3 of speech intelligible, excessive repetition
  • 48 mos: Inability to follow 3-step directions,poor sentence structure, no complex sentences, unintelligible 1/4 of the time in sentences, stuttering

red flags - school aged

  • 60 mos: Inability to express ideas, difficulty maintaining conversation, persistent stuttering
  • 72 mos: Errors in sound production, inability to manipulate sounds of words for rhyming, poor reading skills