Your ChildChild Language Center
When to be Concerned about a Child’s Speech or Language
Are you concerned about a child’s speech or language development? The following general information may guide your decision regarding whether speech or language screening is needed. Please remember that these are only general guidelines and cannot replace professional assessment by a speech-language pathologist. If in doubt it is best to request a speech and language screening. Remember that age-appropriate speech and language skills are critical to later academic success!
Toddlers 24-36 months should...
- Be understandable 75% of the time when talking to family members
- Use at least 200 intelligible words
- Use -ing on the end of verbs (I’m jumping. Daddy’s running)
- Use plural -s on the end of nouns (cats, toys, kids)
- Speak in 3-word sentences
- Ask “where” and “what” questions
- Enjoy listening to a 5-minute story
By 48 months a child should...
- Be understandable 75% of the time when talking to unfamiliar people
- Pronounce ‘b’ ‘d’ ‘k’ ‘g’ ‘f’’ ‘y’ and vowels correctly in words
- Use the word ‘is’ in sentences (mom is coming; it’s mine)
- Use the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ correctly
- Understand many prepositions (put it in front of the box; put it behind the chair)
- Understand and use adjectives like “big” and “little”
- Speak in 4- to 5-word sentences
- Enjoy listening to a 10-minute story
- Repeat information when a listener doesn’t understand
By 60 months a child should...
- Be understandable to both familiar and unfamiliar people most of the time
- Pronounce almost all sounds correctly
- Use 1,500 to 2,000 different words
- Understand and use prepositions in sentences (between, above, on top of)
- Use the words ‘our’ and ‘they’ correctly in sentences
- Use the words ‘this’ ‘that’ ‘there’ correctly in sentences
- Speak in 4- to 7-word sentences and join sentences together using ‘and’
- Ask questions using ‘why’ ‘when’ ‘how’
- Tell simple stories
Parent Video Series
Take a look at the new video series specially designed for parents!
Videos are funded by a collaboration of the University of Arizona Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona Child Language Center, and the First Things First North Pima Regional Partnership Council to promote the development of speech and language in young children through parent and teacher education.
Links to Valuable Resources
Please note that the following web sites were not created by Wings on Words and may not, therefore, reflect the views and beliefs of the staff, directors and sponsors. They have, however, been screened by our staff and provided as a resource for outside information found on the World Wide Web.
- University of Arizona Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- First Things First
- Directory Of Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinics, Centers, and Programs
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America
This web site focuses on apraxia of speech. It provides assistance, information, guidance, referral, education and research support to families and professionals on apraxia of speech and associated speech, language, learning delays, education, therapy and services. The site includes articles, resources, publications and personal stories shared by families dealing with apraxia of speech.
- Kaufman Children’s Center for Speech Language and Sensory Disorders
This website was designed by Nancy R. Kaufman, M.A. CCC/SLP who has specialized in the preschool population for 21 years. It includes testimonials from parents and families, signs and symptoms of different disorders and syndromes such as apraxia of speech, articulation disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, expressive and receptive language disorder and sensory integration and motor disorders.
- The National Parenting Center
This web site is another general parenting site with a wealth of information for parents regarding children of all ages. There are links to informative articles, “Seal of Approval” reviews of products for children grouped by age, price and category and a chat room for parents.