Pediatric Speech Language Pathology Screening

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. Peter Drucker

A Guide to Developmental Language & Communication Skills Milestones

Below are both standard developmental language and communication skills milestones and signs you can look for to determine if your child might need speech and language therapy. Children develop at different rates, which is why these are general milestones and the overall health and well-being of a child should always be taken into consideration.

Birth to 3 Months

Birth to 3 Months
Developmental Milestones

  • Coos, makes gurgling noises
  • Turns head towards sounds
Screening Signs

  • Doesn’t respond to loud noises

If your child is between birth to 3 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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4 to 6 Months

4 to 6 Months
Developmental Milestones

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”)
  • Likes making sounds back and forth with parents
  • Recognizes own name
  • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
  • Begins to make consonant sounds like “m” or “b”
Screening Signs

  • Does not respond to sounds around him/her
  • Doesn’t make vowel sounds like “ah,” “eh,” “oh”
  • Doesn’t laugh or make squealing sounds
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 4 to 6 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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7 to 9 Months

7 to 9 Months
Developmental Milestones

  • Understands “no”
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like “mamama,” “bababa”
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others
  • Uses fingers to point at things
Screening Signs

  • Doesn’t babble
  • Doesn’t respond to own name
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 7 to 9 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.

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10 to 12 Months

10 to 12 Months
Developmental Milestones

  • 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,” “dada,” and exclamations like “uh-oh”
  • Tries to say words you say
Screening Signs

  • Doesn’t say single words like “mama”
  • Does not point to things
  • Does not imitate gestures like waving hand or shaking head
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 10 to 12 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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13 to 18 Months

13 to 18 Months
Developmental Milestones

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

  • Doesn’t point to show others things
  • Doesn’t gain new words
  • Doesn’t have at least 6 words
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 13 to 18 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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19 to 24 Months

19 to 24 Months
Developmental Milestones

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

  • Doesn’t use 2-word phrases “drink milk”
  • Doesn’t copy actions and words
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 19 to 24 months of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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2 to 3 Years

2 to 3 Years
Developmental Milestones

  • Follows instructions with 2-3 steps
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Understands words like “in” “on” “under”
  • Says name, age, and sex
  • Names a friend
  • Says words like “I” “me” “we” “you”
  • Says some plural words “cars” “birds” “dogs”
  • Talks well enough for most strangers to understand most of the time
  • Carries on conversations using 2 to 3 sentences
Screening Signs

  • Drools or has very unclear speech
  • Doesn’t speak in sentences
  • Can’t follow simple instructions
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 2 to 3 years of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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3 to 4 Years

3 to 4 Years
Developmental Milestones

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar such as using “he” and “she” properly
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory, such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
  • Tells stories
  • Says first and last name
Screening Signs

  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t follow 3-step directions
  • Doesn’t use “you” or “me” properly
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 3 to 4 years of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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4 to 5 Years

4 to 5 Years
Developmental Milestones

  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells a simple story using full sentences
  • Uses future tense, like “grandma will be here”
  • Says name and address
Screening Signs

  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Has lost skills previously obtained

If your child is between 4 to 5 years of age, and you or your pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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Content source: Division of Birth Defects, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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