March 2022 Newsletter – Speech and Language Development: Speech and Language Milestones

Speech and Language Milestones

We see indicators of communication as soon as infants are born.  They cry, a lot! This earliest form of communication lets others know that attention is required. As children age, there are certain milestones that they are expected to reach, such as cooing, babbling, and saying their first word.

Did you know that young children typically understand more words (receptive language) than they can use to communicate (expressive language)? These two areas of development do not develop at the same time or pace, even though they are closely related.  Here is a resource that compares receptive and expressive speech development.

You have probably noticed that different speech sounds emerge at different times. Children who are 5-7 years old may still be working on correctly producing sounds such as the R and TH sounds. Did you know that some children may be able to correctly pronounce speech sounds at the beginning of words, but not at the end of words?  This article reviews the development of speech sounds and provides guidance on when a referral to early intervention may be necessary.

There are many speech and language milestones that adults should watch for in addition to momentous ones like the infant’s first word. Click this link to discover a set of developmental milestones created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  The resource includes milestone lists you can share with families depending on the age of their child.  It also gives lots of ideas for ways adults can promote children’s development.

Each child will develop at their own pace, but it is important that educators have a clear understanding of the skills children should be working toward.  As with all other areas of development, mastery is achieved through exposure and practice.  In the next section, we will explore ways to promote speech and language development in the learning environment.

For the main article Speech and Language Development, CLICK HERE

For the article Elements of Speech and Language Development, CLICK HERE

For the article Promoting Speech and Language Development, CLICK HERE

For the article Augmentative and Alternative Communication Tools, CLICK HERE