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Early Milestones for Child Communication

Early detection and intervention is important and help should be sought as soon as you become concerned. If you aren’t sure, don’t delay at discussing this with your pediatrician or with us at Acorn & Oak.  Speech development is critical between one and three years of age.  We are available to answer any questions you have, so you don’t have to worry.

Parents and guardians have the best insights into their child’s strengths and weaknesses. If you have any concerns about speech-language development, review the following developmental milestones to see if your child’s speech-language skills warrant a consultation with your pediatrician or an evaluation.

Review the following early development checklist to understand age appropriate milestones.

6-9 MONTHS

Your child should:

  • Turn when parents say child’s name
  • Babble back and forth with parents
  • Recognize his or her name
  • Understand simple instructions
  • Imitate familiar words, gestures or sounds
  • Understand common objects or actions

Recommendation: Narrate items frequently with one or two words. Initiate turn taking and wait for a response from your child.  Then imitate the child’s response.

12 MONTHS

In addition to all of the previous age milestones, your child should:

  • Turn when parents say child’s name
  • Babble back and forth with parents
  • Recognize his or her name
  • Understand simple instructions
  • Imitate familiar words, gestures or sounds
  • Understand common objects or actions

Recommendation: Narrate items frequently with one or two words. Initiate turn taking and wait for a response from your child.  Then imitate the child’s response.

18 MONTHS

In addition to all of the previous age milestones, your child should:

  • Turn to look when parent points and directs to Look at
  • Point to show interesting things
  • Have between five and ten words and/or names
  • Add more words monthly
  • Follow simple directions
  • Recognize pictures of familiar people and items
  • Point, gesture and imitate simple actions

Recommendation: Speech-Language evaluation and possible therapy.  Developmental evaluation. Understand what the child is interested in, and follow their lead to let the guide the interaction.  Talk about what your child is doing in simple minimal words.