How many professionals have been asked: “How do I know if my child is behind in language development?” How many parents have asked the question, or at least wondered to themselves?
Language development varies from child to child, and there are wide ranges of expected “normal” language development in young children. If you are using Stages Learning Materials products with your own child, and you are concerned about language development, you should definitely discuss this with your health care professional. However, for reference sake, in general:
By the age of one, a child is expected to achieve the following general language milestones:
- Respond to the speech of others verbally or through facial expressions or other simple gestures such as shaking the head up and down for “yes”
- Pay attention to speech of others
- Respond to simple verbal requests including the word “no”
- Babble with inflection
- Attempt to imitate speech of others
- Use simple works such as “dada”, “mama” and simple exclamations such as “oh-oh!”
- Use exclamations, such as “oh-oh!”
- Follow simple commands or instructions
- Point to an object or picture when it is named for her
- Recognize names of familiar objects, body parts and familiar faces
- Repeat words overheard in the conversation of others
- Say several single words and simple phrases by 15-18 months
- Use simple phrases and 2-4 word sentences by 18-24 months
By the three-four years of age, a child is expected to achieve the following general language milestones:
- Understand the concept of “same” and “different”
- Speaks in sentences of five to six words with an understanding of simple grammar
- Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
- Tell stories
Again, it is important to realize that all children are different, and develop at their own pace, but if you feel that your child is falling significantly behind, it may be a good idea to consult your pediatrician, speech therapist, or other child development professional to discuss a strategy to help your child reach language development milestones.
— Adapted from an article written by Dr. Jen Canter, pediatrician and inventor of the U-Play
Mat for Education
About The Author
Angela founded Stages Learning Materials in 1997 as a vehicle to publish and distribute her line of photo-based teaching tools for autism and special needs. Angela has a BA in Psychology, and a JD, both from UCLA; and an M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education from the Technology, Innovation and Education Program.
At UCLA Angela studied behavioral psychology under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, head of the premier program in the treatment and education of children with autism. Following graduation, she worked as a senior therapist for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, supervising educational programs, performing assessments, and conducting workshops for parents and professionals across the country and in Europe. During her graduate work at UCLA, Angela completed multiple cross-departmental courses through the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business Management.
Angela is currently the incoming Chair of the Education Market Association, serves as a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and speaks at national conferences and education institutes on autism education and early literacy.