Delayed / Deficient Language in children
The first few years of a child’s life are very important for language development. The important speech, language and communication milestones are enlisted below.
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.
- 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.
- Vocalizes excitement and displeasure.
- Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you.
7 Months – 12 Months
- 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,” “juice.”
- Begins to responds to requests (“Come here,” “Want more?”).
- Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as “tataupup bibibibibi.”
- Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention.
- Imitates different speech sounds.
- Has 1 or 2 words.
- Responds to their name
- Understands simple directions with gestures
- Uses a variety of sounds
- Plays social games like peek a boo
- Uses a variety of sounds and gestures to communicate
- Uses some simple words to communicate
- Plays with different toys
- Understands simple directions
- Understands several body parts
- Attempts to imitate words you say
- Uses at least 10 – 20 words
- Uses pretend play
- Uses at least 50 words
- Recognizes pictures in books and listens to simple stories
- Begins to combine two words
- Uses many different sounds at the beginning of words.
2 to 3 Years
- Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.
- Understands differences in meaning (go-stop, in-on, big-little, up-down)
- Follows two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table.”)
- Combines three or more words into sentences
- Understands simple questions
- Recognizes at least two colors
- Understands descriptive concepts
3 to 4 Years
- Uses sentences with 4 or more words.
- Talks about activities at school or at friends’ homes.
- People outside family usually understand child’s speech.
- Identifies colors
- Compares objects
- Answers questions logically
- Tells how objects are used
4 to 5 Years
- Answers simple questions about a story
- Voice sounds clear
- Tells stories that stay on topic.
- Communicates with other children and adults.
- Says most sounds correctly
- Can define some words
- Uses prepositions
- Answers why questions
- Understands more complex directions
Compiled from www.asha.org, “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?”
Conditions such as Autism, Mental Retardation, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing loss interfere with normal speech and language development. Such children often show a gap between their chronological age and language age (expressive language and receptive language).