The Language Landmarks

As speech therapists, we are constantly asked, “Is this appropriate?”, “When does this sound come in?”, “Is it okay for there to be difficulty with asking questions?” and the list goes on and on. Little Speech Gems thought it might be helpful to go over some major milestones and this can be used as a reference guide.

6-10 months Reduplicated babbling has already begun. Examples include “baba” or “bobo.”

8-10 months Exciting things start to happen: A child can understand anywhere from 3 to 50 words. Words typically include familiar people, objects, or routines. Parent note: Understand means to know the word but not necessarily be able to say it.

12-18 months HUGE STAGE! Children can have an average vocabulary of 50-100 words. Children produce/speak their first 50 words. During this time it is common to have reduplication “very very” or “teeny weeny” and final consonant deletion “bag” pronounced as “ba” are common.

18-24 months Children develop the amazing ability to show intent by acknowledging others, answering questions, and requesting information. Average expressive vocabulary increases to 200 -300 words.  Speech production is considered to be about 50% intelligibility and 70% of consonants are produced correctly.

24-30 months As a child enters their “terrible twos”, there is an even greater language explosion. Children begin to understand the concepts of questions including “what” and “who”. Additionally, children start to use “no”, “don’t”, “can’t’” as well as adding “ing” and plural /s/.

30-36 months Your child is three years old and ready to take on the world with tons of language. Children begin to use and understand “why” questions. Children also emerge in their abilities to tell story in a sequence, however there is limited plot to the story. Children begin to understand basic use of spatial terms (in, on under, etc). Speech is considered to be 75% intelligible and verbs are used constantly. s you can see, language and speech both magically grow as your child does!

**As a disclaimer, these are general guidelines; some children reach these goals before and some reach them later.

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