Does my child need some help with language?

December 26, 1997

Beginning early to enhance a child's speech and language development can make a big difference in their future. Many parents ask the question, "Is my child's speech or language delayed?" Following are some questions which can help determine if a child may have a problem with his or her speech or language development. If the answer to most of the questions within the child's age level is "no," a speech/language evaluation for the child is recommended.

* 7 through 12 months

Does the child immediately respond to his own name?

Does the child respond to simple requests, such as "come here, "want more"?

Does the child recognize words for common items, such as cup, ball, juice?

Does the child say one or two words, such as mama, dada, no, bye-bye?

* 13 through 18 months

Does the child respond to request for play actions, such as "push the car," "kiss the baby"?


Does the child say five or 10 words?

Does the child imitate new speech sounds and words?

Can the child name one object?

* 19 through 24 months

Does the child use one- or two-word questions, such as "what's that"?

Does the child have a vocabulary of approximately 50 words?

Can the child point to pictures in a book when named?

Can the child point to a few body parts when asked?

* 25 through 36 months

Does the child have a word for almost everything?

Does the child use two- or three-word phrases?

Does the child use pronouns such as I, you and me in his or her speech?

Do you understand the child's speech most of the time?

* 3 years old

Does the child answer simple questions?

Does the child use three- or five-word sentences?

Do people outside the family usually understand the child's speech?

* 4 years old

Does the child pay attention to a story and answer simple questions about it?

Does the child tell you a familiar story by looking at and describing pictures in a book?

Does the child speak in complete sentences when talking with children or adults?

Does your child say most sounds correctly except a few like "r," "l," "th" and "s"?

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To obtain a free copy of the complete checklist of questions from which these samples were taken or for information about speech and language services, call Easter Seals in Chambersburg at 1-717-264-7578, in Gettysburg at 1-717-334-8331, or in Waynesboro at 1-717-762-5315.

- Source: Easter Seal Society

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