milestones / developmental checklists

If you have checked more than 2 points, you are strongly advised to arrange a speech and language assessment with a speech therapist.

0-15 months of age

My child...
  • Does not respond to sounds
  • Does not respond to name
  • Does not respond to 'no'
  • Is not using gesture e.g. waving, pointing
  • Is not producing sounds e.g. babbling, cooing

15-24 months of age

My child...
  • Is unable to respond to simple instructions e.g. “push the car”
  • Does not answer simple questions verbally or nonverbally
  • Does not imitate sounds
  • Has not developed his/her first words
  • Is not correctly pronouncing most vowels and m, b, p

2-3 years of age

My child...
  • Does not speak in 2-3 word sentences
  • Is not answering and asking simple questions
  • Does not respond appropriately to instructions
  • Is not understood by familiar people
  • Is stuttering

3-4 years of age

My child...
  • Is not speaking clearly and fluently
  • Is only using a selection of sounds in his/her speech
  • Does not use pretend play e.g. going to the doctor's
  • Is unable to relate the day's activities when asked
  • Is not using verbs (-ing), plurals (-s), possessives (-'s) and past tense (-ed)
  • Cannot answer 'what', 'where', 'when' and 'who' questions

4-5 years of age

My child...
  • Is not able to follow 3 step instructions accurately e.g. “go to your room, pick up your shirt and bring it to the laundry room”
  • Is not able to describe short stories or how to do something e.g. how to make a sandwich
  • Cannot answer 'why' questions
  • Is only speaking in short, simple sentences
  • Is not pronouncing most sounds correctly except for 'th, r, l'

5-7 years of age

My child...
  • Does not understand and use- time concepts e.g. yeterday, first, then , spatial concepts e.g. behind, on top, far, near and opposites e.g. big/little, boy/girl
  • Does not engage in conversation
  • Is not using his/her imagination to create stories and during play
  • Is not using longer, more complex sentences
  • Still pronounces some sounds incorrectly

When you should contact a speech therapist.

Rule out hearing problem first. You should contact speech professional, when:
  • your child's speech skills are developing slower than of his/her peers (check the American developmental norms over here)
  • your child is protruding the tongue, placing it between the teeth or drops the tongue outside the mouth during articulation
  • you are concerned about the structure and function of your child's oral mechanism (tongue, lips, jaw, cheeks, palate)
  • your child habitually speaks with nasality (making nasal sounds).
  • after finishing 4 years still uses voiceless sounds in exchange for the voiced ones, i.e. t instead of d (says tog instead of dog etc.)
  • at the age of three is not able to articulate whichever of the vowels (a, e, u, i, o, y, ea, ee, oo, ou)
  • you suspect your child does not understand what you talk to him or her.
  • your child's speech is unintelligible and you are worrying he/she has articulation difficulties
  • your child has speech fluency problems (has blocks while talking, repeats sounds and/or syllables) and you observe the problem is growing
  • at the age of two or later your child still has difficulties with saliva control and drooling.
  • your child is not talking on at least two word level by the age of two years
  • your child is at risk of developing communication problems when he/she is diagnosed with: cleft lip or/and palate, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism etc.
  • your child has echolalia (repeats words or even full sentences immediately after hearing them or repeats whole phrases heard earlier, i.e. commercials, texts from TV shows etc.)
  • you observe that your child has difficulties acquiring or learning new language skills
  • your child is not talking by the age of 18 months
Do not expect your child to outgrow his or her problems. If you are worried, look for an advice from the Speech Therapist. Appropriate assessment can determine whether language skills are developing normally or your child needs therapy intervention. Early diagnosis and treatment increases the chances of speech-language skills improvement.
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