This page is for parents and educators interested in children's speech and language development. Concerns and/or questions will be addessed. Topics to be addressed include:
what is the role of the speech/language pathologist? What are some general speech and language milestones? When should a parent be concerned about their child's speech and language development? How can a child's speech and language be enhanced - both at home and in the classroom?
Information regarding other web sites, professional organizations and recommended reading will be provided.
Probably the most common question parents ask of speech pathologists is, "Is my child's speech or language delayed (or disordered)?" Reasons parents may be concerned include: the child's speech does not seem to be clear or the child speaks in shorter sentences than other children of the same age.
First, it is important to keep in mind that speech skills are different from language skills. Language refers to the use of words and sentences to convey ideas. Speech is the production of sounds that make up the words and sentences.
Sometimes, using developmental milestones is helpful where a child can be compared with other children's development. However, caution should be applied when comparing a child with another since individual differences or special circumstances need to be accounted for. Following are some general developmental milestones of speech and language development, as outlined by Caryoln A. Weiner in her parent hand-ou, "Is My Child's Speech or Language Delayed?"
One year old children should be able to understand
a variety of words and should be using a few single
By the age of two, words should be combined into two-and
three-word phrases and sentences.
Between the ages of three and five, children learn to
carry on a conversation, ask and answer questions,
follow and give directions, and speak alone in the
presence pf a group. These skills are important to
success in kindergarten.
After age five, sentences become increasingly complex.
Children begin using words like "when," "while," and
"since" to relate two or more ideas in a single
sentence. The language level used by teachers and
textbooks assumes that children have this skill by the
age of seven or eight.
As a rule, children use understandable speech by age
four and use all speech sounds correctly by age five