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When To Get In Touch

Although all children develop differently, the information below gives some typical milestones achieved around or by the age heading. If your child is developing six or more months below their chronological age, consider contacting a Speech Pathologist.

Is your 6 month old:
• Smiling when they hear your voice?
• Babbling using repeated syllables ("babababa")?
• Responding to their name and the word "no"?
• Using sounds or gestures to tell you that they want something?

Is your 1 year old:
• Using gestures (pointing, showing objects)?
• Recognising the names of familiar objects ("car", "eyes", "phone")?
• Responding to requests ("Put it down") and questions ("More juice?")?
• Using a variety of consonants with intonation when babbling ("badabamada")?
• Starting to use real words?

Is your 1½ year old:
• Starting to use words more than gestures to communicate?
• Using words to request information and answer questions?
• Understanding single words for objects out of sight?
• Beginning to produce words with two syllables?
• Starting to produce simple two word sentences?

Is your 2 year old:
• Using more than fifty real words?
• Understanding simple sentences ("where's your shoe?")
• Combining words into two and three word sentences?
• Enjoying joint book reading, and answering questions about pictures and characters?
• Learning to hold books the right way up and turn pages?
• Speaking clearly enough to be understood by unfamiliar adults 50% of the time?

Is your 3 year old:
• Using a vocabulary of 50-200+ words?
• Following 2 part directions ("Get your shoes and put them in the box")?
• Using three to four word sentences?
• Saying the following sounds correctly: p, b, m, w, t, d, n, k, g, h, y?
• Speaking clearly enough to be understood unfamiliar adults 75% of the time?

Is your 4 year old:
• Asking and understanding who, when, where, what and why questions?
• Using four to five word sentences?
• Saying the following sounds correctly: s, z, sh, ch, l, j, f?
• Speaking clearly enough to be understood by unfamiliar adults 90% of the time?

Is your 5 year old:
• Understanding nearly everything that is said to them?
• Following three part directions ("Stand up, get your bag and wait by the door")?
• Using long and detailed sentences of about six or more words?
• Using correct grammar most of the time?
• Beginning to produce both consonants of a consonant cluster (e.g. st, fl, tw)?
• Speaking clearly enough to be understood almost all the time?
• Aware that print represents words?
• Aware that print should be read from left to right?
• Able to segment sentences into words and words into syllables?
• Recognising and producing rhyming words and words that begin with the same sound?
• Learning to write their name?
• Distinguishing drawing from writing?
• Developing knowledge of letter names and sounds?
• Learning to produce the "r" sound?

Is your 5 to 7 year old:
• Using a vocabulary of 3000 to 5000 words?
• Developing an understanding of passive sentences (e.g. the dog was chased by the chicken)?
• Learning exceptions to basic grammatical rules (e.g. irregular past tense (flew not flied) and irregular plurals (mice not mouses))?
• Acquiring the ability to segment words into sounds and count how many sounds are in a word?
• Blending three or four sounds into a word (e.g. "c" + "ar" + "d" = card)?
• Naming all letters and giving their sounds?
• Beginning to sound out words, and learning some sight words?
• Learning to spell words?

Is your 7 to 9 year old:
• Beginning to be able to see other perspectives?
• Beginning to understand jokes and riddles based on sound similarities?
• Understanding that some words can have multiple meanings?
• Beginning to use figurative language?
• Learning to produce the "th" sound? Producing all speech sounds correctly, though some difficulty with complex words may persist

• Learning conventions for punctuation, capitalisation, etc?

• Recognising more words by sight?

• Becoming increasingly fluent in their reading, and improving in their reading comprehension?
• Learning spelling patterns (e.g. "-ight" pattern words)?
• Making fewer spelling errors and beginning to use writing to send messages?

Is your 9 to 12 year old:
• Able to understand most idioms?
• Using more abstract and specific vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures in written academic tasks than in conversation?
• Using variations in word order more often in writing (e.g. around the house we put a fence)?
• Increasing their knowledge and appropriate use of writing conventions?
• Able to read fluently?
• Reading to learn (focusing on understanding what they read)?

 

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