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By 6 months of age, your child should be able to:


• Vocalize with intonation

• Respond to voices by turning head

• Recognize friendly vs. angry tones of voice

• Begin to babble

• Produce a variety of different sounds

• Bring both hands together

• Grasps a rattle

• Work to get a toy out of reach

• Rake with fingers an object and pick it up

• Bear some weight on legs when held upright

• Sit without support

• Roll over one way

By 12 months of age, your child should be able to:


• Use one or more words with meaning

• Understand simple directions with cues

• Use 1-2 word questions ("where kitty?")

• Point to pictures in books when named

• Clap hands or wave

• Pick up a tiny object with any part of thumb and finger

• Drink from a cup independently

• Walk holding onto furniture

• Stand alone momentarily

• Bear some weight on legs when held upright

• Sit without support

By 18 months of age, your child should be able to:


• Demonstrate a vocabulary of 5-20 words; mostly nouns

• Use a lot of jargon with emotional content

• Follow simple commands

• Stack 3-4 blocks

• Place rings on a cone

• Turn single pages in a book

• Roll a ball

• Walk backwards

Speech Intelligibility (“understandability”) to an unfamiliar listener:


18 months – 25% intelligible

24 months – 50% intelligible

By 2 years of age, your child should be able to:


• Name familiar objects

• Combine 2 words, especially noun-verb combinations

• Have a vocabulary of 150-300 words

• Use simple pronouns, such as I, me, you, my, and mine

• Understand differences in meaning (stop vs. go, big vs. little)

• Follow 2 step directions (Get the toy and give it to me)

• Use words more frequently than gestures to communicate

• Build tower of 6 blocks

• Pretend to push a train made out of three blocks after watching an adult do it

• String 1-4 large beads

• One hand starts to be dominant

• Hold crayon with whole hand

• Imitate an adult making circular strokes or dots

• Copy horizontal and vertical lines

• Use spoon well

• Turn a doorknob

• Walk and run on full feet

• Pull toys with strings

• Climb on furniture and get back down

• One hand starts to be dominant

• Climb stairs holding on with two feet on each stair

• Assist in dressing

• Open doors

By 3 years of age, your child should be able to:


• Use some plurals and past tense

• Know at least three prepositions, such as in, on, under

• Knows simple body parts

• Use 3 word sentences

• Demonstrate a vocabulary of 900-1 000 words

• Understand most simple, concrete questions

• Relate experiences in a logical manner

• Answer reasoning questions, such as "What would you do if you were cold?"

• Give gender, name, age

• Snip with scissors

• Complete 5-6 piece puzzle

• Hold a crayon with three fingers

• Copy circles

• Draw a person with a head

• Use a fork and spoon properly

• Jump in place with both feet

• Kick a stationary ball

• Ride a tricycle

• Stand on one foot for 2 seconds

• Swing on a swing when in motion

• Alternate feet while going up stairs

• Put on some clothing

• Wash and dry hands


Speech Intelligibility to an unfamiliar listener:


• 80% intelligible


Sounds to be mastered by this age:

By 4 years of age, your child should be able to:


• Name objects in pictures

• Knows one or more colors

• Understand 'over' and 'under'

• Participate in make-believe

• Understand contrasting concepts, such as longer, large

• Follow commands without cues

• Answer questions about short stories

• Build tower with 10 blocks

• String small beads

• Hold writing utensils with three fingers

• Copy square

• Draw person with head, feet and body

• Dress and undress self independently

• Demonstrate clear dominance in right-handed children

• Hop on one foot 1-3 times

• Play catch with a large ball

• Have good control of a tricycle


Speech Intelligibility to an unfamiliar listener:


• 100% intelligible


Sounds to be mastered by this age:

By 5 years of age, your child should be able to:


• Use descriptive words and understand simple time concepts, such as morning, night, day, later

• Repeat sentences up to 9 words

• Define common objects in terms of use

• Follow three commands given without interruption

• Use long sentences, including some complex and compound sentences

• Demonstrate overall appropriate grammar

• Build tower of 12 blocks

• Build 3 steps out of 6 blocks

• Draw angled lines and triangles

• Draw person with head, body, legs and face

• Color inside lines

• Cut on straight line

• Hold a knife in dominant hand

• Button clothing

• Walk in a straight line

• Climb steps holding onto an object

• Hop on each foot 3 times

• Stand on one foot for 8-10 seconds

• Ride a bicycle with training wheels

• Swing by himself

• Bounce and catch a tennis ball

• Walk on tiptoes


Sounds to be mastered by this age:

By 6 years of age, your child should be able to:


• Stand on one foot with eyes closed for 3 seconds

• Walk on line in heel-toe fashion

• Skip

• Ride a bike without training wheels

• Jump rope


Sounds to be mastered by this age:

By 7 years of age, your child should be able to:


Sounds to be mastered by this age:

The above developmental milestones lists are compiled from the following sources: Murkoff,

H, .Eisenberg, A. ,and Hathaway, S. BSN. What to Expect The First Year. New York: Worman

Publishing, 2003 Wholefamily.com. Schapiro, Ziva OTR. 05 December 2006. 01 June 2007.

http://www.wholefamily.com/aboutyourkids/child/normal/physical_development.html Schraeder,

Heather M., MS, CCC-SLP. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. How Does Your

Child Hear and Talk? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 01 June 2007.


School-Age Speech, Language & Literacy Milestones

By the end of Kindergarten:




  • Follow 1-2 simple directions in a sequence
  • Listen to and understand age-appropriate stories read aloud
  • Follow a simple conversation




  • Be understood by most people
  • Answer simple "yes/no" questions
  • Answer open-ended questions (e.g., "What did you have for lunch today?")
  • Retell a story or talk about an event
  • Participate appropriately in conversations
  • Show interest in and start conversations




  • Know how a book works (e.g., read from left to right and top to bottom in English)
  • Understand that spoken words are made up of sounds
  • Identify words that rhyme (e.g., cat and hat)
  • Compare and match words based on their sounds
  • Understand that letters represent speech sounds and match sounds to letters
  • Identify upper- and lowercase letters
  • Recognize some words by sight
  • "Read" a few picture books from memory
  • Imitate reading by talking about pictures in a book




  • Print own first and last name
  • Draw a picture that tells a story and label and write about the picture
  • Write upper- and lowercase letters (may not be clearly written)

By the End of 1st Grade:




  • Remember information
  • Respond to instructions
  • Follow 2-3 step directions in a sequence




  • Be easily understood
  • Answer more complex "yes/no" questions
  • Tell and retell stories and events in a logical order
  • Express ideas with a variety of complete sentences
  • Use most parts of speech (grammar) correctly
  • Ask and respond to "wh" questions (who, what, where, when, why)
  • Stay on topic and take turns in conversation
  • Give directions
  • Start conversations




  • Create rhyming words
  • Identify all sounds in short words
  • Blend separate sounds to form words
  • Match spoken words with print
  • Know how a book works (e.g., read from left to right and top to bottom in English)
  • Identify letters, words, and sentences
  • Sound out words when reading
  • Have a sight vocabulary of 100 common words
  • Read grade-level material fluently
  • Understand what is read




  • Express ideas through writing
  • Print clearly
  • Spell frequently used words correctly
  • Begin each sentence with capital letters and use ending punctuation
  • Write a variety of stories, journal entries, or letters/notes

By the end of 2nd Grade:




  • Follow 3-4 oral directions in a sequence
  • Understand direction words (e.g., location, space, and time words)
  • Correctly answer questions about a grade-level story




  • Be easily understood
  • Answer more complex "yes/no" questions
  • Ask and answer "wh" questions (e.g., who, what, where, when, why)
  • Use increasingly complex sentence structures
  • Clarify and explain words and ideas
  • Give directions with 3-4 steps
  • Use oral language to inform, to persuade, and to entertain
  • Stay on topic, take turns, and use appropriate eye contact during conversation
  • Open and close conversation appropriately




  • Have fully mastered phonics/sound awareness
  • Associate speech sounds, syllables, words, and phrases with their written forms
  • Recognize many words by sight
  • Use meaning clues when reading (e.g., pictures, titles/headings, information in the story)
  • Reread and self-correct when necessary
  • Locate information to answer questions
  • Explain key elements of a story (e.g., main idea, main characters, plot)
  • Use own experience to predict and justify what will happen in grade-level stories
  • Read, paraphrase/retell a story in a sequence
  • Read grade-level stories, poetry, or dramatic text silently and aloud with fluency
  • Read spontaneously
  • Identify and use spelling patterns in words when reading




  • Write legibly
  • Use a variety of sentence types in writing essays, poetry, or short stories (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Use basic punctuation and capitalization appropriately
  • Organize writing to include beginning, middle, and end
  • Spell frequently used words correctly
  • Progress from inventive spelling (e.g., spelling by sound) to more accurate spelling

By the end of 3rd Grade:




  • Listen attentively in group situations
  • Understand grade-level material




  • Speak clearly with an appropriate voice
  • Ask and respond to questions
  • Participate in conversations and group discussions
  • Use subject-related vocabulary
  • Stay on topic, use appropriate eye contact, and take turns in conversation
  • Summarize a story accurately
  • Explain what has been learned




  • Demonstrate full mastery of basic phonics
  • Use word analysis skills when reading
  • Use clues from language content and structure to help understand what is read
  • Predict and justify what will happen next in stories and compare and contrast stories
  • Ask and answer questions regarding reading material
  • Use acquired information to learn about new topics
  • Read grade-level books fluently (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Reread and correct errors when necessary




  • Plan, organize, revise, and edit
  • Include details in writing
  • Write stories, letters, simple explanations, and brief reports
  • Spell simple words correctly, correct most spelling independently, and use a dictionary to correct spelling
  • Write clearly in cursive

By the end of 4th Grade:




  • Listen to and understand information presented by others
  • Form opinions based on evidence
  • Listen for specific purposes




  • Use words appropriately in conversation
  • Use language effectively for a variety of purposes
  • Understand some figurative language (e.g., "the forest stretched across…")
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Give accurate directions to others
  • Summarize and restate ideas
  • Organize information for clarity
  • Use subject area information and vocabulary (e.g., social studies) for learning
  • Make effective oral presentations




  • Read for specific purposes
  • Read grade-level books fluently
  • Use previously learned information to understand new material
  • Follow written directions
  • Take brief notes
  • Link information learned to different subjects
  • Learn meanings of new words through knowledge of word origins, synonyms, and multiple meanings
  • Use reference materials (e.g., dictionary)
  • Explain the author's purpose and writing style
  • Read and understand a variety of types of literature, including fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, and poetry
  • Compare and contrast in content areas
  • Make inferences from texts
  • Paraphrase content, including the main idea and details




  • Write effective stories and explanations, including several paragraphs about the same topic
  • Develop a plan for writing, including a beginning, middle, and end
  • Organize writing to convey a central idea
  • Edit final copies for grammar, punctuation, and spelling

By the end of 5th Grade:




  • Listen and draw conclusions in subject area learning activities




  • Make planned oral presentations appropriate to the audience
  • Maintain eye contact and use gestures, facial expressions, and appropriate voice during group presentations
  • Participate in class discussions across subject areas
  • Summarize main points
  • Report about information gathered in group activities




  • Read grade-level books fluently
  • Learn meanings of unfamiliar words through knowledge of root words, prefixes, and suffixes
  • Prioritize information according to the purpose of reading
  • Read a variety of literary forms
  • Describe development of character and plot
  • Describe characteristics of poetry
  • Analyze author's language and style
  • Use reference materials to support opinions




  • Write for a variety of purposes
  • Use vocabulary effectively
  • Vary sentence structure
  • Revise writing for clarity
  • Edit final copies


Information was found on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2014.


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