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Checklist

How Do I Know If My Child Is Reaching the Milestones?

Here is a checklist that you can follow to determine if your child's speech and language skills are developing on schedule. You should talk to your child's doctor about anything that is checked "no."

 
Birth to 5 months YES NO

Reacts to loud sounds.
_____ _____
Turns head toward a sound source.
_____ _____
Watches your face when you speak. _____ _____
Vocalizes pleasure and displeasure sounds (laughs, giggles, cries, or fusses). _____ _____
Makes noise when talked to. _____ _____
 
6 - 11 months YES NO

Understands "no-no."
_____ _____
Babbles (says "ba-ba-ba" or "ma-ma-ma"). _____ _____
Tries to communicate by actions or gestures. _____ _____
Tries to repeat your sounds. _____ _____
 
12 - 17 months YES NO

Attends to a book or toy for about two minutes.
_____ _____
Follows simple directions accompanied by gestures. _____ _____
Answers simple questions nonverbally. _____ _____
Points to objects, pictures, and family members.
_____ _____
Says two to three words to label a person or object (pronunciation may not be clear). _____ _____
Tries to imitate simple words. _____ _____
 
18 - 23 months YES NO

Enjoys being read to.
_____ _____
Follows simple commands without gestures. _____ _____
Points to simple body parts such as "nose." _____ _____
Understands simple verbs such as "eat," "sleep." _____ _____
Correctly pronounces most vowels and n, m, p, h, especially in the beginning of syllables and short words. Also begins to use other speech sounds _____ _____
Says 8 to 10 words (pronunciation may still be unclear). _____ _____
Asks for common foods by name. _____ _____
Makes animal sounds such as "moo." _____ _____
Starting to combine words such as "more milk." _____ _____
Begins to use pronouns such as "mine." _____ _____
 
2 - 3 years YES NO

Knows about 50 words at 24 months.
_____ _____
Knows some spatial concepts such as "in," "on." _____ _____
Knows pronouns such as "you," "me," "her." _____ _____
Knows descriptive words such as "big," "happy." _____ _____
Says around 40 words at 24 months. _____ _____
Speech is becoming more accurate but may still leave off ending sounds. _____ _____
Strangers may not be able to understand much of what is said. _____ _____
Answers simple questions. _____ _____
Begins to use more pronouns such as "you," "I." _____ _____
Speaks in two to three word phrases. _____ _____
Uses question inflection to ask for something (e.g., "My ball?"). _____ _____
Begins to use plurals such as "shoes" or "socks" and regular past tense verbs such as "jumped." _____ _____
 
3 - 4 years YES NO

Groups objects such as foods, clothes, etc.
_____ _____
Identifies colors. _____ _____
Uses most speech sounds but may distort some of the more difficult sounds such as l, r, s, sh, ch, y, v, z, th. These sounds may not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8. _____ _____
Uses consonants in the beginning, middle, and ends of words. Some of the more difficult consonants may be distorted, but attempts to say them. _____ _____
Strangers are able to understand much of what is said. _____ _____
Able to describe the use of objects such as "fork," "car," etc. _____ _____
Has fun with language. Enjoys poems and recognizes language absurdities such as, "Is that an elephant on your head?" _____ _____
Expresses ideas and feelings rather than just talking about the world around him or her. _____ _____
Uses verbs that end in "ing," such as "walking," "talking." _____ _____
Answers simple questions such as "What do you do when you are hungry?" _____ _____
Repeats sentences. _____ _____
 
4 - 5 years YES NO

Understands spatial concepts such as "behind," "next to."
_____ _____
Understands complex questions _____ _____
Speech is understandable but makes mistakes pronouncing long, difficult, or complex words such as "hippopotamus." _____ _____
Says about 200 - 300 different words. _____ _____
Uses some irregular past tense verbs such as "ran," "fell."
_____ _____
Describes how to do things such as painting a picture. _____ _____
Defines words. _____ _____
Lists items that belong in a category such as animals, vehicles, etc. _____ _____
Answers "why" questions. _____ _____
 
5 years YES NO

Understands more than 2,000 words.
_____ _____
Understands time sequences (what happened first, second, third, etc.). _____ _____
Carries out a series of three directions _____ _____
Understands rhyming. _____ _____
Engages in conversation. _____ _____
Sentences can be 8 or more words in length. _____ _____
Uses compound and complex sentences. _____ _____
Describes objects. _____ _____
Uses imagination to create stories. _____ _____