Child Development Stages & Milestones

Articulation  Milestones

Speech Sound Development by Age
0-2 months Unintentional sounds

2-4 months Cooing – vowel-like sounds

3-6 months Babbling emerges – not well formed syllables

6-10 months Babbling – consonant-vowel combinations (i.e., “da”, “muh”, “bababa”

8-12 months Jargon – changes in vowels and consonants (i.e., “do-ba-di”. Vocalizes during play
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: m, n, d, b

12-18 months Consonant-vowel word shapes – “ma”, “no”. Reduplicated babble – “wawa” for water, “nana” for banana. Final sounds of words may be omitted – “be” for “bed”.
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: m, n, d, b, y, w, p, t

18-24 months 70% of consonants are correct. Final sounds emerge and two syllable words emerge.
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: m, n, d, b, y, w, p, t, h

24-36 months May omit one consonant of a consonant blend – “bue” for “blue”.
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: m, n, d, b, y, w, p, t, k, g, h, s, f, v

36-48 months Substitution of “w” for “r” and “w” or “y” for “l” is common.
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: m, n, d, b, y, w, p, t, k, g, h, s, f, v, sh, ch, j

48-60 months Very few errors remain developmentally appropriate. All sounds should be emerged. Some errors may remain on “r” and “th”.
SOUNDS THAT HAVE EMERGED INCLUDE: All sounds

Adapted from: Sax, N. and Weston, E. Language Development Milestones. University of Alberta. January 2007.

Age In Months Intelligibility
18 months 25% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

24 months 50-75 % intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

36 months 75-100% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

48 months 100% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener

Lynch, J.I., Brookshire, B.L, and Fox, D.R. (1980). A Parent-Child Cleft Palate Curriculum: Developing Speech and Language. CC Publications, Oregon. Page 102.

 

Articulation  Quick Reference

2 years
75% of Children Have Mastered:
p, b, t, d, k, g, m, n, ng, w, y, h, f
95% of Children Have Mastered: p, d, m, n, w h

3 years
75% of Children Have Mastered:
v, s, z, sh, ch, l, r (vowel r)
95% of Children Have Mastered: b, t, k, g

4 years
75% of Children Have Mastered:
r (consonant r)
95% of Children Have Mastered: ng, l, f

5 years
75% of Children Have Mastered:
th
95% of Children Have Mastered: v, s, z, sh, ch, j, l

6 years
75% of Children Have Mastered:
All sounds
95% of Children Have Mastered: Consonant and vowel r

***It should be noted that over the age of 5, the likelihood of spontaneous development of sounds decreases significantly.

Adapted from: Clinical Assessment of Articulation and Phonology (2002)

Language  Milestones

0-3 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Follows a person with eyes; smiles to a voice; cries differently when tired, hungry, in pain; startles to loud noise; looks toward sound
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Attempts to use voice; begins blowing bubbles

3-6 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Responds to name by looking; smiles; laughs; cries when parents leave
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Begins vowel-like sounds, vocalizes in response to speech; imitates familiar sounds and actions

6-8 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Understands 5-50 words; begins to relate symbols to objects; understands simple commands
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Gestures and/or vocalizes to indicate wants; first true word emerges (although normal development for 1st word is up to 14 months); jargon and babbling present, vocalizes during play and to mirror; changes intonation

12-18 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Understands 200 words; words are understood outside of routine games; points to familiar or desired objects; follows one-step commands; uses nouns, verbs, possessives (mine), rejections (no), agents (names)
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Average spoken vocabulary of 50-100 words by 18 months; vocalizes with gestures; says “all gone”; can answer the question “what’s this?”; asks for “more”; imitates words; first 2-word phrase emerges

18-24 Months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:

Understands words for objects out of sight; listens to simple stories; follows directions involving spatial concepts
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Expressive vocabulary of 200-300 words; 2-word phrases predominate; responds to yes/no questions; uses verbs and adjectives; refers to self by name; marks a question with rising inflection

24-36 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Understands “wh” questions; follows a series of two-step commands; knows descriptive concepts (big, small); understands pronouns
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Combines 3-4 words; answers “wh” questions; uses possession; uses adverbs (here, now); uses “is”;uses a variety of grammatical endings

36-48 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Responds to 3-step commands; understands a variety of complex and compound sentence structures; understands color and shape; understands spatial concepts
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Produces 4-5 word sentences; uses complex and compound sentences; uses contractions; uses a variety of verb tenses; asks how and why questions; answers “what if” questions; tells events in sequence

48-60 months
Age Receptive (Understanding) Language:
Knowledge of numbers; uses conjunctions
Expressive (Verbal) Language: Asks for the meaning of words; produces 8 word sentences; subject-verb agreement is accurate

Adapted From:
Sax, N. and Weston, E. Language Development Milestones. University of Alberta, January, 2007).

Fine  Motor   Milestones

0-3 MONTHS

  • hands most often remain closed
  • has grasp reflex (grasps objects involuntarily if placed in palm)

 

2-4 MONTHS

  • reaches for (“swipes at”) objects inaccurately

 

3-3 1/2 MONTHS

  • clasps hands together often

 

3 1/2- 4 MONTHS

  • begins purposeful, visually directed reaching

 

3-7 MONTHS

  •  can hold small objects in hand

 

4-8 MONTHS

  • can transfer objects from one hand to the other
  • can pick up cube/medium sized object easily

 

4-10 MONTHS

  • develops accurate forward and side reach

 

5-9 MONTHS

  • “rakes” or “scoops” small objects to pick them up (i.e. using fingers/palm/whole hand to scoop up Cheerios, raisins etc.

 

7-9 MONTHS

  • intentionally able to drop/release objects (get ready for the “watch-me-drop-this-watch-mommy/daddy-pick-it-up-AGAIN” game!)

 

7-12 MONTHS

  • able to pick up small objects using thumb and finger/fingers

 

10 MONTHS

  • pokes and/or points with index finger

 

12-18 MONTHS

  • holds crayon with whole hand, thumb up

 

2 YEARS

  • holds crayon with thumb and all fingers, forearm turned so thumb is pointing down
  • puts on shoes, socks, and shorts; takes off shoes and socks
  • can use a spoon by himself, keeping it upright
  • can draw and copy a vertical line

 

2 1/2- 3 YEARS

  • strings large beads
  • snips paper with scissors
  • rolls clay/playdoh into “snake”
  • can draw and copy a horizontal line

 

3-3 1/2 YEARS

  • able to complete simple puzzles
  • can build a tower of nine small blocks or more
  • can get himself dressed/undressed independently; only needs help with buttons; still confuses front/back of clothes, and right/left shoes
  • can feed himself with little or no spilling, drinks from a cup/glass with one hand

 

3 1/2- 4 YEARS

  • can pour his own drink from a pitcher if not too heavy
  • can place small pegs into small holes
  • able to string small beads
  • can hold a pencil with a “tripod grasp” (3 fingers), but moves forearm and wrist to write/draw/color

 

4-4 1/2 YEARS

  • can use scissors to follow and cut both straight and curved lines
  • can manage buttons, zippers, and snaps completely
  • can draw and copy a cross (one vertical and one horizontal intersecting lines)

 

4 1/2- 5 YEARS

  • can hold fork using his fingers
  • can feed himself soup with little or no spilling
  • folds paper in half, making sure the edges meet
  • puts a key in a lock and opens it

 

5 YEARS

  • can get dressed completely by himself, and usually tie shoelaces
  • cuts square, triangle, circle, and simple pictures with scissors
  • uses a knife to spread food items (jelly, peanut butter, mayo etc.), uses a dull knife to cut soft foods
  • able to draw and copy a diagonal line
  • uses a “tripod grasp” on writing utensils (thumb & tips of 1st two fingers) and uses fingers only (because small muscles of hand have developed) to write/draw/color

 

5 1/2- 6 YEARS

  • can build a five block “bridge”
  • sufficient bilateral hand coordination to cut out complex pictures, accurately following the outline
  • able to copy a sequence of letters or numbers correctly

 

6 YEARS

  • able to complete complex puzzles

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