The first signs of communication occur when an infant learns that a cry will bring food, comfort, and companionship. New-borns also begin to recognize important sounds in their environment, such as the voice of their mother or primary caretaker during the initial stage of development. As they grow, babies begin to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. By 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language.

Now let’s see how the typical Speech & Language development takes place. 

During 6-11 months your child will be able to understand the concept of “No” and start babbling and after that they begin to say words such as “ma-ma” or “da-da” without meaning. This is the time they start playing with their oral structures.

By 1 year, they say their first word. After this, children start speaking and communicating. At the end of first year they have a vocabulary of less than 50 words to converse. Mostly they will talk using single words

At the age of 2 years, they will have a vocabulary of 50 words and uses 2-worded phrases to communicate. They try to imitate simple words. They will make animal sounds, such as “moo” , “boo boo”, etc.

At the age of 3 they use 3-worded sentences and increase the mean length of utterance. 

Also they start to understand some spatial concepts, such as “in” or “on”, pronouns, such as “you,” “me” or “her”, descriptive words, such as “big” or “happy” as they grow

They can answers simple questions.

At the age of 4 years, they have a good communication skill and use most of the speech sounds. They can understand complex questions. Describes how to do things, such as painting a picture

Also they can group objects, such as food or clothes and identify colours.

At the age of 5 years they comprehend time sequences, engage in conversation, uses compound and complex sentences, etc. 

Why is it important?

This is how the normal speech and language development take place in every child. Moreover, speech may not be visible in children who have hearing impairments. Therefore, it is essential to be vigilant regarding your child’s speech and hearing milestones.  

If your child has difficulty in following above, it is time to consult your speech language pathologist. Therefore, he/she can help you to get your child back to normal routine.

Dishan De Silva 

Speech Language Pathologist & Audiologist



ASHA (Developmental Norms for Speech and Language)

NIH Publication No. 13-4781
Typical Speech & Language development in children and the importance of it
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