The development of communication skills begins in infancy, before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant affect on the child’s social and academic skills and behavior. The earlier a child’s speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or deteriorate. Early speech and language intervention can help your child be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.


• 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– 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.


• 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.


• 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.


• 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.

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Please note: This information represents, on average, the age by which most monolingual speaking children will accomplish the listed milestones. Children typically do not master all items in a category until they reach the upper age in each age range. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean the child has a disorder. However, if you have answered “no” to the majority of items in an age range, seek the advice of our ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists here


“I am so thankful we found someone as wonderful as Tanya. I had a couple of bad experiences before we found Cincinnati Therapy Connections and knew as soon as our first session that she was going to be great. She wants the best for my son and truly cares about him and he can tell. He loves her and is happy whenever he sees her and is making great progress. Thank you, Tanya and Cincinnati Therapy Connections!”

J. B.