Speech-Language Milestones
The following are speech-language milestones observed in typically developing children from age 7 months-4 years of age:


Age 7-9 Months [1]
Understands "no"
Enjoys playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
Begins variegated babbling (mabamaba)
Looks at common items when their names are spoken

10-12 Months [1]
Understands up to 10 words
Understands simple commands when accompanied by a gesture
Listens when spoken to
Recognizes words for common objects ("shoe," "juice")
Uses a large variety of sounds in babbling
Uses 1-2 words (examples- "dada," "hi") around first birthday

1-2 Years [1]
Is able to point to a few body parts on command
Understands approximately 200 words (age 18 months)
Begins using more words each month
Begins using verbs and adjectives
Begins verbalizing immediate experiences ("bath hot!")
Asks for "more"
Some children start to put 2 words together ("more juice")
Is about 25-50% intelligible to strangers
Uses some 1-2 word questions ("where dada?")
Child often use one word to communicate a variety of meanings (holophrastic speech)
Uses 3-20 words with gestures
Uses 10-50 words (approximately 18 months)

2-3 Years [1]
Understands up to 2400 words (age 2.5 years old)
Understands 3600 words (age 3)
Speech is generally understood by familiar listeners
Uses 200-600 words
Uses approximately 400 words (2.5 years old)- rapid vocabulary growth during this period
First pronouns used are "I" and "me."
Child has a word for almost everything
Uses the auxiliary verb "is."
Can identify several body parts
Understands plurals
Can tell understandable stories (approximately age 3)
Asks 1-2 word questions
Uses 2-3 word phrases

3-4 Years [1]
Understands up to 4200 words
Understands up to 5600 words (at 4 years)
Uses 4-5 words in sentences
Uses 800-1500 words
Begins using tag questions ("you want to go to McDonalds, donít you?")
Uses irregular plurals (mice, feet)
Uses is, am, and are in sentences
Knows first, last, and street name.
Asks when, how, and why questions
Relates experiences and can talk about activities in sequential order
Speech is approximately 80% intelligible
Engages in long conversations
Child can keep a conversation going without losing track of topic

[1] American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). http://www.asha.org/; Roseberry-McKibbin, Celeste, and Hedge, M. N. (Giri). An Advanced Review of Speech-Language Pathology. Austin: Pro-Ed, 2006.; Shipley, Kenneth G., and McAfee, Julie G. Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual, Third Edition. United States: Cengage Learning, 2004.

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