The first signs of communication occur when an infant learns that a cry will bring food, comfort, and companionship. Newborns also begin to recognize important sounds in their environment, such as the voice of their mother or primary caretaker. As they grow, babies begin to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. By 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language.
Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression or timetable for mastering the skills of language. These milestones help doctors and other health professionals determine if a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss, while other times it may be due to a speech or language disorder.
However, parents of children who are significantly behind in child speech development milestones should talk with their pediatrician to find out how to get their child back on track. Sydney speech language experts can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Typical child speech development: Age 6 months to 2 years
By the age of 6 months, most children have learned to:
- Vocalize with intonation
- Respond appropriately to angry and friendly tones
- Respond to his / her name
By the age of 12 months, most children:
- Experiment with inflection during vocalization
- Use at least one word and understand the meaning behind the word
- Grasp simple instructions
- Pick up on the social value of using their voice
By the age of 18 months, most children:
- Use between 5-20 words
- Are able to follow simple commands
- Have a vocabulary consisting of primarily nouns (e.g. people, places, things)
- Repeat words or phrases over and over again
By the age of 2 years, most children:
- Are able to use two or more prepositions (such as on, under, or in)
- Are familiar with the names of common objects
- Use at least two pronouns appropriately (I, you, me, etc.)
- Create short sentences typically made of one noun and one verb (or fragments of those words)
- Do not yet have control of pitch and volume of their voice
A Sydney speech language pathologist will be able to provide you with additional milestones to be aware of and to work towards if your child is falling behind. Children’s speech development services ensure a customized approach so that your family can assist your child in optimizing his or her speech-language skills with time.
If you have questions or concerns about children’s speech and language development contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns.
To find out more see our section about childhood development, click here.