One of the questions I get the most working as speech therapist in an elementary school is, is my child's speech & language developing at a normal pace? While children often develop at their own pace below are some general rules of thumb when it comes to typical development.
1-2 Years of Age
Can point to body parts when asked.
Will listed to simple stories, songs and rhymes.
Can point to pictures when asked.
Vocabulary progresses monthly.
Can use one or two words questions.
Can put two words together.
Uses many different constant sounds at the beginning of words.
2-3 Years of Age
Can understand differences in meaning between words or statements. (Ex: in-out, up-down, go-stop)
Can follow two requests. (Ex: Put your shoes on and then come outside)
Will listen and enjoy stories for longer periods of time.
Has a word for almost everything.
Will ask or direct attention to obects by naming them.
May stutter on words or sounds.
3-4 Years of Age
Understands words for colors. Ex: Blue, Green, Red
Understands words for shapes. Ex: Circle, Square
Understands family relationships: Ex: Brother, Grandmother, Aunt
Can use about 4 sentences at a time.
Can discuss and recall daily events and activities at school.
Can say rhyming words.
Can use plural words. Ex: Cats, Cars & Toys.
Will ask when and why questions.
Will answer simple Who?, What? & When? questions.
Will use pronouns like, I, you, me and we.
4-5 Years of Age
Will understand words for order. Ex: First, Last, Second.
Can understand words for time. Ex: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.
Can follow longer directions and instruction at school.
Knows names, letters and numbers.
Can keep a conversation going.
Will use sentences with multiple action words.
Can tell a short story.
Will talk with out repeating words or sounds most of the time.
If you are a concerned parent with a child exhibiting several behaviors that fall outside these ranges it may be time to schedule an evaluation with a speech and language therapist. Early intervention can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to remedy a behavior and allow your child to focus on reading, writing and interpersonal relationships.