It continually seems that as young children hit that 2 years old point parents ask more questions regarding their development in speech. Over the years I have attended workshops and read many articles, as well as worked directly with speech pathologists. I try to use that knowledge to support you and your children in their speech development. As I continually explain when talking about speech development with parents, language is either receptive (the understanding of language) or expressive (the use of language) and children are individuals in their development, but there are normal ranges that we do watch for. After recent discussions with parents, I thought it would be an appropriate time to post some information here. ———–
Babies model the sounds and words they hear by babbling. Their first words usually come around 12 months.
By 18 months, most children have spoken about 20 words and may be using simple 2 word sentences.
Around 2 years of age, we usually see a major jump in vocabulary and a consistent use of 2 word sentences. They should also be following simple directions (like “sit in your chair” or “put in your cubby”), point to body parts as named and be understood 50-75% of the time by adults they regularly interact with.
A 3 year old uses their increasing vocabulary in 3-4 word sentences. They can consistently follow 2 step directions (“pick up your book and put it on the shelf”). Speech should been understandable 75-100% for adults they interact with regularly and at least 50% for others.
A 4 year old uses their large vocabulary in more complex sentences. They love to tell about everyday events. They are able to answer and ask many, many questions. Although not all sounds will be used correctly, they should still be 100% understandable by everyone.
Then we get the 5 year old, whose conversations have a normal flow, few speech errors and most, if not all, speech sounds.
Anytime you have questions, please bring them up to me. There are many resources available in our area and early intervention is the best service we can provide our children.
There is a guest post at Teach Preschool by Marcy Fox that clearly and simply delineats the normal speech development from birth through 5 years. I encourage you to click on the link and read this article also.
Go to Not Just Cute to read a really strong article – Say What? How a Preschooler’s Verbal Ability Influences Literacy