Your child’s communication from Birth through the School years
- Turns towards a sound when they hear it.
- Loud noises startle them.
- Recognises your voice.
- Look at you when you are talking to them.
- Have different cries for different needs (tired, hungry, wet etc).
- Make noises like coo’s or squeals.
- Recognise your familiar voice, and will quieten at the sound of it if they are crying.
- Recognise changes in your tone of voice.
- By 6 months, recognises his own name.
- Listen carefully and turn to someone talking from other side of room.
- Look at you when you are speaking.
- Start to understand words like ‘bye-bye’ and ‘up’ with a gesture for the word.
- Starts to take turns in conversation such as babbling back to an adult.
- Smiles at people who are smiling at them.
- Enjoys action songs and rhyme.
- Makes noises and points to get your attention.
- Babbles strings of sounds.
- Start to understand words like bye-bye or ‘all gone’.
- Makes sounds to get attention, to make needs known, or to refuse.
- Gets excited when sung to.
- Points to three body parts when asked.
- Starts to understand a few simple words ‘drinks’, ‘shoe’, ‘car’.
- Uses at least 20 – 50 words consistently; words do not have to be very clear.
- Understand simple instructions like ‘kiss mommy’ or ‘get shoes’.
- Plays peek-a-boo.
- Imitates animal noises.
18 months- 2 years
- By 18 months, know the names of people, body parts, and objects.
- Greater level of concentration on preferred activities.
- Uses 50 or more single words.
- Understand between 200-500 words.
- Putting short sentences together (approx 2 words).
- Enjoy pretend play with their toys, such as feeding dolly.
- Copy sounds and words
- Follow simple requests (such as “put the book on the table”).
- Can make phrases, such as “no bottle” or “want cookie.”.
- Puts 4 or 5 words together to make short sentences, such as ‘want more juice’ or ‘he took my ball’..
- Takes turns in a conversation.
- Listen to longer stories and answer questions about a storybook.
- Knows colours, numbers, and time (e.g. yesterday/today).
- Starts to understand simple jokes.
- Enjoys make belief play.
- Able to use the past tense (we went to the shop).
- Is understood by most people outside of the family.
- Uses long sentences 5-8 words.
- Understands questions using who, what, why, when and where.
- Speech is usually steady and clear and people who are not so familiar with your child can understand what your child is saying most of the time.
- Able to maintain conversation for much longer.
- Choose their own friends and play mates.
- Uses sentences that are well formed.
- Think more complicated language such as ‘first’, ‘last’, ‘might’, ‘may be’.
- Uses sentences that are well formed.
- Uses most sounds effectively, may have difficulty with words with more syllables.
- Says rhyming words.
- Understands spoken instructions easily.
- Greater ability to focus on one thing for longer.
- Understands feelings and describes things like ‘carefully’ , ‘faster’ etc.
- Relies less on pictures and words to learn new words.
- Learns that different words can have a double meaning.
- Share and discuss more complex ideas.
- Uses language for different purposes such as asking questions or persuading.
- Express ideas with a number of complex sentences.
- Asks/answers factual and inferential questions.
- Gives directions.
- Listens to and understands stories in school that are read aloud to them.
- Grammar is mostly acquired.
- Understands and uses the exceptions to grammatical rules.
- Asks and answers factual and inferential questions.
- Gives directions with 3-4 steps.
- Begins to use and understand figurative language (e.g. pull your socks up).
- Uses most parts of speech, grammar is mostly acquired.
- Uses clear and specific vocabulary in conversation and discussions.
- Explains what has been learned.
- Understands direction words.
- Gives synonyms and categories in word definitions.
- Comprehension and use of language is more sophisticated.
- May share his/her opinions often.
- May pick up on words that friends or other adults use.
- Your child could begin to learn new language without fully understanding the meaning
- They can recite poems and debate issues.
- Children describe events and stories in great detail.
- Use longer sentences; usually 7-12 words or more.
- Understands and uses sarcasm.
- Subtle or witty humour.
- Maintains topic or changes topic well in conversation.
- Know that they talk differently to friends than to teachers.
- Understand and use slang terms with friends. They keep up with rapidly changing ‘street talk’.
- Tells long and complicated stories.
- Follow complicated instructions.
- Understand people can have other points of view and show that they agree or disagree.
(Adapted from I CAN, 20