Speech/Language Assessment and Treatment

Speech/Language Development

The following are guidelines regarding speech and language development. 

 Receptive Language Milestones

(guidelines to gauge how a child understands/comprehends language)

Age Receptive Language Milestone
~12-16 months Child should recognize the names of simple, common objects, familiar people, and action verbs. Child should follow simple directions with cues.
~18 months Child should understand verbs in context (eat, drink, sleep). Child should know a few major body parts, and understand up to 50 words.
~2 years Child should recognize many common objects and pictures when named. Child should also be able to follow several simple directions.
~3 years Child should be able to listen to simple stories, follow a two-step command, and understand the concept of taking turns.
~4 years Child should be able to correctly identify colors, spatial concepts and make inferences.
~5 years Child should understand time concepts, understand qualitative and quantitative concepts, understand "-er" as "one who does something".
~6 years Child should understand passive voice tense, identify objects that don't belong, and be able to order pictures from largest to smallest.


Expressive Language Milestones

(guidelines to gauge how a child communicates using gestures, vocalizations or words)

Age Expressive Language Milestone
~12 months Child should produce one to three words.
~18 months Child should try to communicate with more words than gestures. Child should imitate/repeat some overheard words.
~2 years Child should use 50-200 words by 24 months. Child should join two to three words into phrases such as "more milk" or "bye dada".
~2½ years Child should begin to use short phrases 3-4 words in length. Child should be able to answer what, where, yes/no questions. Child uses verb+ing construction.
~3 years Child should have a vocabulary of approximately 1000 words and produce multiword utterances.
~3½ years Child should be able to name pictures in a book, tell how an object is used, and use possessives.
~4 years Child’s language should resemble adult-like language, complex sentence forms are used and complex sentence constructions (irregular and regular past tense) are used more frequently.
~4½ years Child should be able to respond to "where" questions and complete analogies.
~5½ years Child should have mastery of most syntactic rules and can converse easily. Child should be able to repeat sentences, use adjectives to describe people and objects and define words.
~6½ years Child should be able to retell a story with visual support, define words, rhyme words, and repair grammatical errors.

 Speech Developmental Milestones

(guidelines are provided to demonstrate an age when particular speech sounds should be mastered. These guidelines are based on research by Smit, et al., 1990- 90% criterion level)







3 3
/n/ 3½ 3
/h/ 3 3
/p/ 3 3
/f/ 3½ 3½
/w/ 3 3
/b/ 3 3
“ng” (as in sing) 7-9 7-9
“y” (as in “yellow”) 4 5
/k/ 3½ 3½
/g/ 3½ 4
/l/ 6 6
/d/ 3 3½
/t/ 4 3½
/s/ 7-9 7-9
/r/ 8 8
“ch” 6 7
/v/ 5½ 5½
/z/ 7-9 7-9
“th” (voiceless as in thin) 6 8
“sh” (as in shin) 6 7
“th” (voiced as in the) 4½ 7

Some other first developments.... 

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