Is your Child’s Speech and Language Development on Track?

Every child is unique and learns to speak at his or her own pace but general milestones can help you determine if your child needs extra help. Here is a list of typical language milestones you should look out for at each age of speech and language development.

Age 1
Even though toddler has a limited vocabulary at this age but you can help it grow by reading and talking to him on a daily basis. Your baby should be able to:

  • Constantly engage and socialize with you like looking and smiling at you
  • Babbling with you
  • Make noises and faces looking at you
  • Attempt to imitate sounds
  • Communicate and get what he wants by pointing or looking at an object like his toy
  • Follow your eyes and look where you are looking
  • Follow simple directions and commands like stopping what he is doing when you say “No”

Age 2
Around this period, your toddler should be able to:

  • Expand vocabulary and use about 50 words regularly.
  • Repeat words that she hears from you.
  • Link two words to make simple sentences like ‘give ball’, ‘go mamma’ even though it will not be completely understandable.
  • Identify objects and point to her nose, eyes, mouth and start saying each body part.
  • Point to pictures of the correct objects when asked with “Where is the ball?” etc

Age 3
By now, your preschooler should be able to:

  • Speak clearly in simple sentences and you should easily understand what your kid says.
  • String multiple words together like talking in sentences made up of between three and six words.
  • Identify and indicate objects verbally.
  • Follow complicated requests such as “Please remove your shoes and put them on the shelf.”

What to do if my child’s speech or language appears to be delayed?
As a parent, we have a crucial role to play in our child’s speech and language development. By the age of 2 years, parents should be able to understand the child’s language 50% of the times and at 3 years, 75-100% of the times. If you feel that your child’s speech is delayed, do not delay, talk to your child’s doctor or a speech-language pathologist, who is the best person to evaluate and treat speech or language disorders. Based on his evaluation, he may suggest therapy sessions or activities you can do at home to stimulate your child’s language development.

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