Does my child need Speech and Language Therapy?

The below are tasks your child should or should not be performing in the following areas: Language, Articulation, Fluency, Voice, and Resonance. We also offer free no obligation speech and language screenings to determine whether or not your child is in need of speech and language therapy.

Language Skills (back to top)

The following is a list of tasks a typically developing child should be performing by a certain age. If your child is not performing the below tasks by the time he/she is the age indicated, it may be beneficial for your child to receive a speech and language evaluation or screening (­see info below on free no obligation speech and language screenings)

By 1 year (12-months) of age a child should:

  • Look at a person saying his/her name

  • Follow simple commands occasionally

  • Say “mama” or “dada” meaningfully

  • Imitate the name of familiar objects

  • Say one to two words spontaneously other than “mama” and “dada”

By 1.5 years (18-months) of age a child should:

  • Follow commands

  • Identify 3-6 body parts

  • Give objects on command

  • Say 15 words

  • Imitate new words spontaneously

  • Ask to have needs met

By 2 years (24-months) of age a child should:

  • Follow two-step commands

  • Identify pictures when named

  • Understand the meaning of action words

  • Use single words frequently

  • Use two-word phrases (“want eat”)

  • Use 50 different words

By 2.5 years (30-months) of age a child should:

  • Understand size concepts

  • Understand the concept of “one”

  • Identify objects by function

  • Ask for help

  • Use action words

  • Use three-word phrases

  • Refer to self by pronoun consistently

By 3 years (36-months) of age a child should:

  • Answer “yes” and “no” questions correctly

  • Respond to wh- questions (what, where, who)

  • Identify parts of an object

  • Use prepositions (in, on, out, off)

  • State his/her first and last name

  • Use verb forms (-ing, -ed)

  • Converse in sentences

  • Be understood approximately 70% of the time

By 3.5 years of age a child should:

  • Understand pronouns (he, she, his, her)

  • Understand negatives in sentences

  • Understand the concept of “one” and “all”

  • Produce basic four- to five- word sentences

  • Tell how objects are used

  • Use possessives

By 4 years of age a child should:

  • Identify colors

  • Make inferences

  • Identify categories of objects

  • Answer questions logically

  • Answer questions about hypothetical events

  • Use words that describe physical state (hungry, tired, thirsty)

By 4.5 years of age a child should:

  • Understand qualitative concepts (tall, short, long)

  • Identify shapes

  • Understand spatial concepts (under, behind, next to, in front)

  • Respond to “where” questions (Where do you sleep?)

  • Name objects when they are described

  • Complete analogies

By 5 years of age a child should:

  • Understand time concepts (day, night)

  • Understand modifying adjectives

  • Understand expanded sentences

  • Answer “why” questions by giving a reason

  • Use qualitative concepts

  • Name categories

Articulation Skills (back to top)

By the age indicated in the far left column, a male or female child should be producing the sounds indicated in the middle and far right columns. If your child is not performing the below sounds by the time he/she is the age indicated, it may be beneficial for your child to receive a speech and language evaluation or screening (­see info below on free no obligation speech and language screenings)

Age of Mastery

Female Child

Male Child

3 years

 

 

- /m/ (man, tummy, some)

- /p/ (pie, apple, soup)

- /b/ (ball, table, tub)

- /w/ (wall, tower)

- /h/ (house, behave)

- /d/ (dog, saddle, bed)

- /k/ (king, cat, sucker, pick)

- /g/ (goose, tiger, big)

- /f-/ (fun)

- /n/ (nice, sunny, ten)

- /m/ (man, tummy, some)

- /p/ (pie, apple, soup)

- /b/ (ball, table, tub)

- /w/ (wall, tower)

- /h/ (house, behave)

- /d/ (dog, saddle, bed)

- /k/ (king, cat, sucker, pick)

- /f-/ (fun)

- /n/ (nice, sunny, ten)

- /t/ (tea, turtle, eat)

4 years

- /t/ (tea, turtle, eat)

- /j/ (yellow, kayak, stallion)

- /kw/ (queen)

- /tw/ (tweet)

- /g/ (goose, tiger, big)

5 years

- /-f/ (off, enough)

- /v/ (view, oven, stove)

- /l-/ (lesson)

- /bl/ (black)

- /pl/ (please)

- /kl/ (clock)

- /gl/ (glass)

- /fl/ (fly)

- /-f/ (off, enough)

- /j/ (yellow, kayak, stallion)

- /v/ (view, oven, stove)

- /kw/ (queen)

- /tw/ (tweet)

6 years

- /θ/ (thanks, bathtub, tooth)

- /ð/ (they, although, bathe)

- /ʤ/ (jump, aging, stage)

- /ʧ/ (cheese, latches, watch)

- /ʃ/ (show, bushes, bush)

- /-l/ (ball)

- /l-/ (lesson)

- /bl/ (black)

- /pl/ (please)

- /kl/ (clock)

- /gl/ (glass)

- /fl/ (fly)

7 years

- /ŋ/ (singing, swing)

- /s/ (celery, tossing, mice)

- /z/ (zoo, teasing, bees)

- /sp/ (spot)

- /st/ (stove)

- /sk/ (skunk)

- /sm/ (small)

- /sn/ (snail)

- /sl/ (sleep)

- /sw/ (sweet)

- /skw/ (squeal)

- /spl/ (splash)

- /ð/ (they, although, bathe)

- /ʤ/ (jump, aging, stage)

- /ʧ/ (cheese, latches, watch)

- /ʃ/ (show, bushes, bush)

- /-l/ (ball)

- /ŋ/ (singing, swing)

- /s/ (celery, tossing, mice)

- /z/ (zoo, teasing, bees)

- /sp/ (spot)

- /st/ (stove)

- /sk/ (skunk)

- /sm/ (small)

- /sn/ (snail)

- /sl/ (sleep)

- /sw/ (sweet)

- /skw/ (squeal)

- /spl/ (splash)

8 years

- /r-/ (rat)

- /-r/ (store, singer, star)

- /pr/ (prince)

- /fr/ (frog)

- /gr/ (grapes)

- /kr/ (crab)

- /dr/ (drink)

- /tr/ (treat)

- /br/ (broom)

- /θ/ (thanks, bathtub, tooth)

- /r-/ (rat)

- /-r/ (store, singer, star)

- /pr/ (prince)

- /fr/ (frog)

- /gr/ (grapes)

- /kr/ (crab)

- /dr/ (drink)

- /tr/ (treat)

- /br/ (broom)

9 years

- /thr/ (three)

- /skr/ (scrub)

- /spr/ (spring)

- /str/ (street)

- /thr/ (three)

- /skr/ (scrub)

- /spr/ (spring)

- /str/ (street)

Fluency (back to top)

The following is a list of types of disfluencies (types of stuttering) that are not typical and may not self mediate. If your child is producing the following disfluencies, it may be beneficial for your child to receive a speech and language evaluation or screening (­see info below on free no obligation speech and language screenings).

  • Part word repetions (“Wwww.. Www.. Where is my shirt?”)

  • Prolongations (“Wwwwwwwhere is my shirt?”)

  • Blocks - This is when your child’s mouth is trying to say a sound but nothing is coming out prior to producing the sentence.

(“----- Where is my shirt?”)

  • 3 or more iterations (“Where Where Where Where is my shirt?”)

The following is a list of types of disfluencies (types of stuttering) that are considered typical with no need to be concerned:

  • Interjection (“Where is my um um shirt?”)

  • Multi-syllable whole word repetitions (“Spaghetti spaghetti is my favorite food”)

  • Phrase repetitions (“Where is my,,,Where is my shirt?”)

  • Revisions (“I goed.. I went to the store” or “Have you…. Where is my shirt”)

Voice (back to top)

If your child is demonstrating one of the following voice qualities, it may be beneficial for your child to receive a speech and language evaluation or screening (­see info below on free no obligation speech and language screenings).

  • Breathy, raspy, or harsh voice

  • Sore throat that gets worse as the day progresses

  • Consistently loud voice

Resonance (back to top)

If your child is demonstrating one of the following resonance qualities, it may be beneficial for your child to receive a speech and language evaluation or screening (­see info below on free no obligation speech and language screenings).

  • Hypernasal sounding voice (all sounds are produced through the nose)

  • Hyponasal sounding voice (all sounds are produced through the mouth even the sounds /m, n, ŋ/ which should be produced through the nose)

Free No Obligation Speech and Language Screening (back to top)

Kid’s Communication Connection offers free no obligation screenings. The screenings typically take 10 to 15 minutes and a parent must be present. If your child fails the screening, you are not obligated to receive an evaluation at Kid’s Communication Connection.

The reason we are willing to conduct free screenings is because we know that the first five years of a child’s life are a crucial time for language development. Studies have been completed showing that when children have good intervention at a young age, those children have a better outcome when they are older compared to children who do not receive early intervention (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).

We desire to make sure that every child who may benefit from speech and language therapy receives the help they need at the earliest age possible. So often children miss out on needed speech and language therapy during this important time because parents do not know if their child needs speech and language therapy or if their child is just a “late talker.” Don’t wait until your child has passed this crucial age in his/her language development to decide whether he/she needs speech and language therapy or not.

Please contact us if you have further questions or would like to set up an appointment.