Thursday, December 13, 2012

Language Sounds and Milestones

One of the most common concerns I hear from parents is about their child's speech. They worry that the child is not speaking soon enough, that she doesn't  have enough words, that the sounds aren't clear. Its important to remember that each child is unique and therefore time when they'll master a sound, a word or a grammatical principle will be different for each of them. The milestones of communication development are the same....the time in a child's life when he or she will achieve these milestones may differ slightly. 
Knowing what the milestones are will help you as a parent be aware of your Little Billy (who is different than Sally Jo's baby girl down the street) and how widdle biddle Bilwy is is developing. Its exciting when they start to babble and it turns into actions and distinct sounds. Recognizing where you child is at will help you recognize where he or she might need an additional boost of support. 
Help Me Grow has lists of communication activities appropriate for each age group. Make sure you're getting those regularly from your care coordinator. If you want to start receiving it, just call us!

Communication Milestones
Information from the Provo Early Intervention Program (PEIP)

Birth to 3 Months
Startles to loud noises
Makes throaty pleasure sounds (cooing)
Quiets to soothing voice

4 to 6 Months
Simple babbling begins
Looks in the direction of sounds
Responds to change in tone of voice

7 to 12 Months
Begins to imitate (actions and sounds)
Recognizes words for common items
Begins to use words (approx. 12 months)

12 to 18 Months
Points to body parts
Responds to simple commands/questions
Says new words each month

18 to 24 Months
Puts two words together and asks simple questions
Follows novel directions
Uses words to request and comment

24 to 36 Months
Uses 3–4 word sentences to talk about things
Speech mostly understood by strangers
Follows two-step direction

Another great resource we also got from PEIP was this chart of the norms for when individual sounds can be developed. A lot of parents like to see this so they can understand when individual sounds come in. As you can see, some sounds may finish developing up to age 8! others earlier. Its good information to know.

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