Speech and Language Development Concerns and Warning Signs
The following behaviors may indicate a possible speech, language or listening problem. You should be concerned if your child fits the majority of these descriptors:
24 to 36 months
- Avoids eye contact
- Has difficulty singing songs or imitating parts of simple nursery rhymes
- Doesn't put short two or three word-phrases together
- Has difficulty sitting and attending to a book or movie for more than a few minutes
- Is very difficult to understand when talking (Mom may understand but others do not)
Preschool Age (3 to 5 years)
- Speaks differently from other children of the same age; is difficult to understand (between the ages of 4 and 5 children should be using most sounds correctly. (It is still normal to have mispronunciations on r, th, l, v, sh, ch and j)
- Has difficulty maintaining eye contact when listening or speaking
- Is disinterested or detached from other children of the same age when playing
- Makes noises or uses gestures to express needs instead of using words and sentences
- Has difficulty comprehending or following conversations (or simple oral directions) watches what others are doing or needs to see gestures before attempting to follow a direction
- Speaks in short phrases instead of complete sentences most of the time
- Leaves out words such as "is" or "the" (e.g., "Bobby not going in car.")
- Leaves off endings which show "how many" or "possession" e.g., "two car outside", "Sara bike nice."
Speech, Language and Listening Milestones
Below are some general speech and language developmental milestones. Every child is unique and may not do everything yet!
4 to 5 Years of Age
- Comprehends 2,500 to 2,800 words
- Speaks clearly most of the time
- Makes up stories
- Listens and attends to stories, conversation and movies
- Plays dramatically and chats a lot
- Follows 3-step directions
- Uses 1,500 to 2,000 words
- Describes pictures with complete sentences
- Uses "he", "she", "I", "you" and "they" correctly
- Explains events that took place in the past with accurate detail.
For more information contact the Special Services Department at 586.510.2050.