Speech Development

Speech and Language Of The One Year Old

At age one, your child should. . . recognize his or her name. understand "no". understand simple instructions. imitate familiar words. wave good-bye and play pat-a-cake. and use "mama" and "dada" and several other words, usually nouns. Your child will probably be able to make the "sounds" of familiar animals and things and give a toy on request. He or she will probably laugh a great deal. hear well and discriminate between many sound. At this age most children show a great deal of affection. They will make noises and pat parents affectionately. One year olds should be able to understand directions and concepts such as, "Put the block in the cup." He or she probably enjoys scribbling imitatively with a crayon.

You can stimulate your one year old's speech and language by . . . reading colorful books to your baby. encouraging imitation games such as peek-a-boo. reciting nursery rhymes. using short words with your baby. imitating your baby's movements and vocalizations. rewarding and encouraging early efforts at producing new words. not pressuring the baby to perform for you. talking to your baby about everything you're doing when you're with him.

Speech and Language Of The Two Year Old

At age two, your child. . . listens for the meaning of words, not just sounds. understands simple questions and commands. identifies body parts. uses mainly names of things, actions, persons and situations in his or her language. carries on "conversation" with self and dolls. asks "what's this?", "what's that?" and "where's my?" sentence length is composed of 2-3 words. refers to self by name. names pictures. uses 2-word negative phrases such as "not go," "not right," "no want." forms some plurals in speaking vocabulary. builds an 8-block tower. asks for drink, toilet, food. listens to stories with pictures. stays with one activity 6-7 minutes.

You can stimulate your two year old's speech and language by. . . reading books with simple colorful pictures. being a good speech model. repeating new words over and over. helping your child listen and follow instructions by playing games: "pick up the ball," "touch Daddy's nose." talking about what you are doing. playing records with your child. listening to your child when he or she is talking, never saying, "I don't understand you." praising the child for telling you some of the things he or she is doing and for the child's efforts at saying things. taking the child on excursion trips and talking about what you see. carrying on a conversation with him. asking questions to stimulate additional thought and language.

Speech and Language Of The Three Year Old

At age three, your child... can match primary colors, names one color. knows night and day. understands "yesterday," "summer," "lunchtime," "tonight," "little-big." begins to obey prepositional phrases like "put the block under the chair." uses words to relate observations, concepts, ideas and relationships. frequently practices by talking to himself. knows his or her last name, sex, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes. can tell a story or relay an idea to someone. has a sentence length of 3-4 words. has a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words. can produce consistently "m, n, ng, p, f, h, and w." may repeat sounds, words and phrases, which is perfectly normal at this age. can draw circle and vertical line. can sing songs. expresses fatigue verbally. can stay with on activity 8-9 minutes. asks "what" questions frequently.

You can stimulate your three year old's speech and language by. . . continuing to extend his conversation. using words he has trouble with frequently in your speech. teaching your child relationships of words, objects and ideas. talking about similarities of differences between things. encouraging your child to tell stories using books and pictures. letting your child play with other children. reading longer stories to your child. paying attention to your child when he's talking remembering that repeating words and sounds is normal during this period of growth.

Speech and Language Of The Four Year Old

At age four, your child. . . points to colors red, blue, yellow and green. identifies crosses, triangles, circles and squares. follows commands even though objects not present. understands "early in the morning," "next month," "next year," "noontime." can speak of imaginary conditions such as "suppose that" or "I hope." asks many questions although more interested in how answers fit his/her own thoughts rather than just the explanation. has a sentence length of 4-5 words. asks "who?" and "why?" begins to use complex sentences. uses contractions such as "it's a" or "there's a." uses past tense correctly. copies a line and a circle. has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words. uses the following sounds correctly: m, n, ng, p, f, h, w, y, k, b, d, g, r. stays with one activity 11-12 minutes.

You can stimulate your four year old's speech and language by. . . helping your child classify objects and things like talking about what kinds of things you can ride in. teaching your child correct use of a telephone. helping you plan activities such as what you will make for Christmas dinner. giving your child more responsibility. talking with him as you would any person. reading longer stories to him. letting him toll and make up stories for you. continuing to show your pleasure at his development in speech, language and thought. not expecting absolute perfection in the way he pronounces words.

Speech and Language Of The Five Year Old

At age five, your child. . . defines objects by their use (You eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of. knows spatial relations like "on top," "behind," "far" and "near." knows his address. identifies a penny, nickel and dime. has a sentence length of 5-6 words. has a vocabulary of around 2000 words. uses all speech sounds correctly with the possible exceptions of t, v, l, th, j, z, and zh (as in "measure"). knows common opposites like "big/little" and "hard/soft." understands "same" and "different." counts ten objects. carries a plot in a story. uses future, present and past tense. stays with one activity for 12-13 minutes. questions for information. distinguishes left and right hand in himself but not in others. uses all types of sentences, some of which will be complex, for example "I can go in the house after I take off my muddy shoes."

You can stimulate your five year old's speech and language by. . . encouraging your child to use language to express his feelings, ideas, dreams, wishes and fears. commenting on what you did or how you think your child feels; this will stimulate more speech than a direct question. allowing your child to create new, free designs with crayons and pencils or paper. allowing opportunities to learn songs, rhymes or verses from memory. continuing to read longer stories. talking with him as you would an adult in most instances. remembering he will still understand more than he will be able to say. listening to him when he talks to you.

c Mary Brooks and Deedra Engmann, 1976 Published by: h & h enterprises, inc. lawrence, kansas