​What should my child be doing at this age? Can I help them?

Answers to language development questions are here...


BY 3 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Turn their head when they hear a familiar voice
  • Become excited when their favorite toys are presented
  • Resist adults who try to take toys out of their hands
  • Make sounds in response to others talking
  • Coo when happy


BY 6 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Turn their head when they hear their name
  • Change their behavior when they hear "no"
  • Respond appropriately to friendly and angry voices
  • Smile and make eye contact with familiar people
  • Produce non-speech sounds while playing (e.g., laugh, squeal, etc.)
  • Babble using some of the following consonant sounds: b, d, h, p, w


BY 9 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Look toward common objects (e.g., ball, shoe, etc.) when named
  • Pat their image when looking in a mirror
  • Manipulate objects by mouthing, banging, dropping them, etc.
  • Follow simple directions when shown what to do (e.g., get ball)
  • Wave "bye bye" and shake their head "no"
  • Produce at least 5 consonant sounds
  • Babble using different syllables (e.g., ba ba tee)


BY 12 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Respond to music by swaying or dancing
  • Show knowledge of how to use objects (e.g., push buttons on toys)
  • Point to at least one body part when named
  • Understand 5-10 words
  • Say "mama" or "dada"
  • Babble in a way that sounds like real language, but they use pretend words
  • Invent their own words (e.g., my brother called airplanes "bonia")


IS YOUR BABY HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE SKILLS ABOVE?

TRY THESE STRATEGIES & REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. Read to them everyday... Children learn through exposure!
  2. Sing nursery rhymes... Books and songs foster language development!
  3. Respond to their coos, gurgles and babbling with excitement
  4. Use simple words and phrases throughout the day about what you are using and doing
  5. Play simple games such as "Peek-a-Boo" and Pat-a-"Cake"
  6. Between 9-12 months, imitate their sounds and actions to teach them to imitate you                                      

 BY 15 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Point to common objects when named (e.g., Where is the ball?)
  • Imitate animal noises
  • Use sounds and gestures to ask for objects
  • Use 1-5 real words during play


BY 18 MONTHS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Use real objects to mimic daily activities (e.g., drink from an empty cup)
  • Imitate activities they see daily (e.g., wipe up spills, pretend to shave)
  • Follow directions containing a verb and a noun (e.g., throw the ball)
  • Will go to another room and bring an object when asked
  • Point to three body parts when named
  • Understand 25-50 words
  • Use 6-12 real words, though unfamiliar people may not understand them


IS YOUR TODDLER HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE SKILLS ABOVE?
TRY THESE STRATEGIES &
REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. Continue reading to your child everyday... It is critical at this age
  2. Play with silly sounds when you see animals, vehicles or other noisy things
  3. Provide experiences that heighten their awareness and interest
  4. When your child has something to say, give them your undivided attention
  5. After 10-15 seconds, suggest a two word phrase, avoiding interruptions


BY 2 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Act out daily activities on others during play (e.g., feed their teddy bear)
  • Complete a variety of actions on one recipients or the same action on multiple recipients
    • e.g., feed, burp and put teddy bear to sleep OR feed teddy bear, mommy and daddy
  • Often play alone or alongside others with a limited amount of interaction
  • Are shy around strangers
  • Point to at least 4 body parts and 5 pictures when named
  • Understand action words and the prepositions "in" and "on"
  • Regularly use 50-200 words and 2-word sentences (e.g., Daddy bye-bye)


BY 3 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Play pretend using household objects (e.g., sing into a wooden spoon)
  • Follow simple rules (e.g., don't touch ___)
  • Can categorize items into groups such as clothes vs. toys
  • Understand the concepts same/different and little/big
  • Understand and ask "what, where and who" questions
  • Consistently use sentences 3-4 words in length
  • Use the pronouns "I, you and me" correctly
  • Use "no, not, don't and can't", but may make mistakes
  • Use the past tense -ed ending, but may make mistakes
  • Are understood by listeners approximately 90% of the time


IS YOUR TWO OR THREE-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE?
TRY THESE STRATEGIES &
REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. While reading, allow them to pick the book
  2. Point out details within picture pictures to help them understand the story
  3. Use new words to talk about what you are thinking and planning
  4. Have your child practice by asking them to deliver messages to family members
  5. Listen attentively when they talk, avoiding interruptions and corrections
  6. "One-up" their speech... Subtly rephrase their message using one extra word
  7. For difficulty with specific sounds, make a scrapbook of pictures that use those sounds


BY 4 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Engage in make-believe play
  • Understand the concepts of rhyming and alliteration
  • Can imitate words that are four syllables in length
  • Name colors, shapes and count to five
  • Use a variety of pronouns, but may make mistakes
  • Use "and and but" correctly
  • Can answer most questions about their day
  • Regularly use sentences 4-5 words in length


IS YOUR FOUR-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE?

TRY THESE STRATEGIES & REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. Bedtime stories should be longer now and have a clear beginning, middle and end
  2. While reading, let them guess what will happen before turning the page
  3. Practice sorting items by making piles of different kinds of dishes or clothes 
  4. Talk to them as you would anyone else... If they're not exposed to it, they won't learn it
  5. Don't expect speech perfection, but familiar adults should understand everything they say


BY 5 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • Involve other children in pretend play... One pretends to be a doctor, the other is a patient
  • Point to some alphabet letters when named
  • Understand concepts of time and space, such as yesterday/tomorrow and near/far
  • Follow multi-step directions
  • Define objects by their use (e.g., Q: What is a fork? A: Something you eat with)
  • Answer simple questions about short paragraphs when read aloud to them
  • Hold conversations, discuss their feelings and create short, well-structured stories
  • Use past, present and future tenses of verbs correctly


IS YOUR FIVE-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE SKILLS ABOVE?
TRY THESE STRATEGIES &
REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. Create a reading time for the whole family... After all, children do what their parents do
  2. Celebrate reading success by giving them a sticker for every book, even if they can't read yet
  3. Stimulate their thoughts, ideas and language by allowing them to explore and be creative
  4. Encourage them to express their feelings, dreams, ideas, etc. using open-ended questions
  5. Talk to them as if they were older to encourage learning of advanced words and grammar


BY 6 YEARS OLD, CHILDREN:

  • ​Understand most opposites and the positions "through, away and toward"
  • Ask about what words mean
  • Use adult-like grammar in sentences and conversations
  • Tell stories with 4-5 different parts, major events, etc.
  • Are understood by everyone, but may have trouble with the sounds /l/ and /r/


IS YOUR SIX-YEAR-OLD HAVING TROUBLE?

TRY THESE STRATEGIES & REQUEST A CONSULTATION.

  1. Take turns while reading pages or whole books
  2. When they make mistakes, be supportive, reassuring and positive!
  3. Encourage them to read to pets or at a local animal shelter... Everyone will enjoy it
  4. After fun outings, create picture books or stories about what they found most interesting
  5. Ask them to remember a list of times you need at a store while running errands
  6. Ask them to follow simple directions during routine activities (e.g., making dinner)
  7. Play games that require problem solving, reasoning and conversations (e.g., Sorry, Clue)
  8. Find quiet time everyday so you you can have a real conversation​

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