Does my child need Speech Therapy?

If your child does not meet the age appropriate milestones of speech, language, and communication, despite normal audiology testings, you may be advised to visit a speech therapist.

This brings us to charting out age appropriate milestones for speech and language development.


Hearing and Understanding


0–3 Months

  • Startles to loud sounds

  • Quietens or smiles when spoken to

  • Seems to recognize your voice and quietens if crying

  • Increases or decreases sucking behaviour in response to sound

  • 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

  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b and m

  • Chuckles and laughs

  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure

  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you.

7 Months–1 Year

  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake

  • Turns and looks in direction of sounds

  • Listens when spoken to

  • Recognizes words for common items like "cup", "shoe", "book", or "juice"

  • Begins to respond to requests (e.g. "Come here" or "Want more?")

  • Babbling has both long and short utterances such as "tata upup bibibibi"

  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention

  • Uses gestures to communicate (waving, holding arms to be picked up)

  • Imitates different speech sounds

  • Has one or two words (hi, dog, dada, mama) around 1st birthday,

1-2 years

  • Points to a few body parts when asked.

  • Follows simple commands and understands simple questions ("Roll the ball," "Kiss the baby," "Where's your shoe?").

  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.

  • Points to pictures in a book when named.

  • Says more words every month.

  • Uses some one- or two- word questions ("Where kitty?" "Go bye-bye?" "What's that?").

  • Puts two words together ("more cookie," "no juice," "mommy book").

  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words.

2-3 Years

  • Understands differences in meaning ("go-stop," "in-on," "big-little," "up-down").

  • Follows two requests ("Get the book and put it on the table").

  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time.

  • Has a word for almost everything.

  • Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.

  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds.

  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.

  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them.

  • Asks why?

  • May stutter on words or sounds.

3-4 Years

  • Hears you when you call from another room.

  • Able to hear television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members.

  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green.

  • Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square.

  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt.

  • Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes.

  • Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time.

  • People outside of the family usually understand child's speech.

  • Answers simple "who?", "what?", and "where?" questions.

  • Asks when and how questions.

  • Says rhyming words, like hat-cat.

  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they.

  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses.

  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.

  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.

4-5 Years

  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.

  • Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • Follows longer directions, like "Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book."

  • Follows classroom directions, like "Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat."

  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school.

  • Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.

  • Responds to "What did you say?"

  • Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time.

  • Names letters and numbers.

  • Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, likejump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like "Zach got 2 video games, but I got one."

  • Tells a short story.

  • Keeps a conversation going.

  • Talks in different ways depending on the listener and place. May use short sentences with younger children or talk louder outside than inside.


Other Questions 

What is Speech Therapy?

How does Speech Therapy help my child with Autism?

What does Speech Therapy include?

How often does my child need Speech Therapy?

At what age should I start Speech therapy for my child?

Who can provide Speech Therapy for my child?

Can I use Speech Therapy at home with my child; if so, how?

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