Speech & Language Milestones

Hearing & Speech Ages and Stages

(Taken from California Newborn Hearing Screening Program, Department of Health Services)

speech and language milestones in San Francisco

Birth to 3 Months

Quiets to familiar voices or sounds
Reacts to loud sounds, e.g., baby startles, blinks, stops sucking, cries or wakes up. Makes soft sounds when awake, e.g., baby gurgles.

3 to 6 Months

Turns eyes or head towards sounds, e.g., voices, dog barking
Starts to make speech like sounds, e.g., “ga,” “ooh,” “ba,” and p, b, m sounds Reacts to changes in your tone of voice

6 to 9 Months

Responds to own name and looks when called
Understands simple words, “no,” “bye-bye,” “juice”
Babbles, “da da da,” “ma ma ma”

9 to 12 Months

Responds to both soft or loud sounds
Repeats single words and imitates animal sounds
Points to favorite toy or foods when asked

12 to 18 Month

Uses 10 or more words
Follows simple spoken directions, “get the ball”
Points to people, body parts or toys when asked
“Bounces” to music 18 to 24 Months
Uses 20 or more words
Combines 2 or more words, “more juice,” “what’s that?”
Uses many different consonant sounds at beginning of words, m b, g, m
Listens to simple stories and songs

2 to 3 Years

Uses 2 to 3 word sentences
At 2 years, people can understand what the child says some of the time (25-50%) At 3 years, people can understand what the child says most of the time (50-75%) Follows 2 step directions, “get the ball and put it on the table”

3 to 4 Years

Can tell a story or relay an idea to someone using sentences of 3 to 4 words.
Can use all vowel sounds in speech and is understood much of the time by main family members
Can follow simple two-step directions, for example: Go to your room and get your jacket.
Understands some concepts of when things happen, like yesterday, lunchtime, “little-big”

4 to 5 Years

Asks many questions, for example,”who?” and “why?”, and is more interested in how the answers fit his/her thoughts than with the explanation given
Uses sentences of 4 to 5 words
Is able to use most consonant sounds correctly in his speech, and is understood by most people much of the time
Uses “I” for self, and is using other pronouns correctly some of the time.

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