Speech & Language Checklist


Though children progress at different rates, the communication skills generally expected at a given age are listed bellow. Please contact us if you have concerns about your child’s communication.

2 Months

  • Coos, makes gurgling sounds
  • Turns head toward sounds

4 Months

  • Begins to babble
  • Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired

6 Months

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
  • Responds to own name
  • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
  • Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

9 Months

  • Understands “no”
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamamama” and “bababababa”
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses fingers to point at things

12 Months

  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech)
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”
  • Tries to say words you say

18 Months

  • Says several single words
  • Says and shakes head “no”
  • Points to show someone what he wants

2 years

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation
  • Points to things in a book

3 years

  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
  • Says first name, age, and sex
  • Names a friend
  • Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
  • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

4 years

  • Understands some basic rules of grammar
  • Uses 5 to 6 word sentences
  • Tell short stories
  • Strangers can understand what child is saying
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory
  • Can say first and last name

5 years

  • Uses phrases of more than 5 words
  • Uses future tense
  • Tells longer stories using full sentences
  • Speaks very clearly
  • Uses future tense
  • Says name and address