Delayed Disorder Speech

How does your child hear and talk?

Every child is unique and hasĀ an individual rate of development. This chart represents, on average, the age by which most children will accomplish the listed skills. Children typically do not master all items in a category until they reach the upper age in each age range. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean that he/she has a disorder. However, if you have answered no the the majority of items in an age range, seek the advice of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

Hearing and Understanding


Birth-3 Months

  • Startles to loud sounds
  • Quiets or smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
  • Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to sound
Birth-3 Months

  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when sees you
4-6 Months

  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Responds to changes in tone of your voice
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Pays attention to music
4-6 Months

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b, and m
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you
7 Months- 1 Year

  • Enjoys games like peekaboo and pat-a-cake
  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Recognizes words for common items like “cup”, “shoe”, or “juice.”
  • Begins to respon to requests (e.g. “Come here” or “Want more?”)
7 Months- 1 Year

  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tata upup bibibibi”
  • Uses speech or noncrying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (bye-bye, dada, mama), although they may not be clear.
1- 2 years

  • Points to a few body parts when asked.
  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions (“Roll the ball”, “Kiss the baby”, “Wheres your shoe?”)
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Points to pictures in a book when named.
1- 2 years

  • Says more words every month.
  • Uses some one or two word questions. (“Where kitty?”, “Go bye-bye”, “Whats that?”)
  • Puts two words together (“more cookie”, “no juice”, “mommy book”) i>
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.
2-3 years

  • Understands the differences in meaning. (“go-stop,” “in-on,” “big-little,” “up-down”)
  • Follows two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table”)
2-3 years

  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses two-or three-word “sentences” to talk about and ask for things.
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.
3-4 years

  • Hears you when you call from another room
  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members
  • Understands simple “wh” (who, what, where, why) questions
3-4 years

  • Talks about activities at school or at friends homes.
  • Speaks clearly enough that people outside of the family usually understand his or her speech.
  • Uses alot of sentences that have four or more words
  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.
4-5 years

  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it.
  • Heards and understands most of what is said at home and in school.
4-5 years

  • Makes voice sounds clear like other children’s.
  • Uses sentences that give lots of details (e.g. “I like to read my books”)
  • Tells stories that stick to topic
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly (except perhaps certain ones such as l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th).
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.

Communication Tips

  • Talk naturally to your child. Talk about what your child is doing, and what your child sees.
  • Take time to listen to your child. Respond to what is said so your child knows you have been listening.
  • Read to your child as early as 6 months. Look for age appropriate books.
  • Don’t push your child to learn to talk. Accept some speech mistakes as your child develops. Don’t ask your child to slow down or repeat.
  • Many children have frequent middle ear problems such as fluid build up which can result in hearing loss, thus affecting the development of speech. Have your child’s hearing tested if you find you have to repeat a lot or talk loudly to get your child’s attention.

Early identification and treatment of hearing, speech, and language disorders can prevent problems with behavior, learning, reading, and social interactions. If you suspect your child has a communication problem, consult with a licensed speech-language pathologist or contact for a referral in your area.
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