• Important Communication Milestones
    3 - 6 months
    • Smiles spontaneously to human contact
    • Smiles when playing alone
    • Smiles at faces of several family members
    • Stops crying when spoken to
    • Shows different responses to different family members
    6 - 9 months
    • Responds to  "come here"
    • Becomes more outgoing with familiar people
    • Shows anxiety when separated from favorite caregiver
    • Likes to be with specific people
    9 -12 months
    • Reacts to others moods
    • Is fearful of strangers
    • Can tolerate momentary loss of contact with caregiver in unfamiliar places
    • Shows off to get attention
    12 - 18 months
    • Has an expressive vocabulary of between 5-20 words
    • Is aware of the value of communication
    • Follows simple directions, especially with gesture
    • Practices intonation, sometimes imitating an adult
    • Uses mostly nouns with a few others, such as "down" or "up"
    • Uses much, meaningful jargon with inflection and emotion
    19 -24 months
    • Names common objects
    • Uses two or three prepositions such as "on", "in", or "under"
    • Uses noun + verb consistently
    • Family understands about 2/3 of what child says
    • Receptive and expressive vocabulary is about 150-300 words
    • Rhythm and fluency of speech is poor
    • Uses "I", "me", and "you", but may confuse "I" and "me"
    • Control of pitch and volume is poor
    • "My" and "mine" emerging (like a vengeance!)
    • Follows commands, such as "Show me your nose"
    25 - 36 months
    • Uses "I", "you", and "me" correctly
    • Uses some plurals and past tenses
    • Knows principal body parts
    • Uses three-word sentences
    • Has about 900 words
    • Family understands about 90% of what child says
    • Verbs emerge quickly
    • Understands and responds to questions dealing with immediate environment
    • Tells about his experiences
    • Can answer thinking questions, such as "What do you want when you thirsty?"
    • Gives name, age, and gender
    • Understands much more than he expresses
    4 years
    • Knows names of animals
    • Uses at least four prepositions
    • Knows some colors
    • Can repeat four digits when given slowly
    • Can repeat a four-syllable word
    • Knows contrasts such as "larger" and "longer"
    • Follows a directive when desired object is not in sight
    • Repeats many words, phrases, syllables, and sounds
    • Loves make-believe and takes on multiple roles during play
    • Talks extensively during play by himself or with others
    5 years
    • Uses adjectives and adverbs extensively in conversation
    • Knows opposites such as "on-off," "big-little," "heavy-light," and "soft-hard"
    • Counts to ten
    • All speech should be intelligible, but articulation errors ay persist
    • Can repeat sentences more than nine words
    • Can define common words, such as "shoe," "chair," "hat," and "bird"
    • Can follow three stage commands without help
    • Understands simple time concepts, such as "morning," "later," and "tomorrow"
    • Verbal language is generally correct
    • Uses long sentences, including some compound and complex constructions
    Copyright Child Development Institute, 1998-2007
    If you notice that your child has not met some of the communication milestones listed above, you can contact the speech and language teacher at the building you child attends and discuss what steps to take to help your child improve. 
    Links related to Typical Communication Expectations
Last Modified on May 28, 2008