All children develop language at their own pace and there is a wide range of “normal.” This information is not meant to diagnose a delay or disorder, only to guide understanding of skills at each stage. If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, please contact us directly so we can answer your questions.


  • Recognizes name
  • Says 2-3 words besides “mama” and “dada”
  • Makes consonant sounds p,b,m,d,t,w
  • Engages in vocal play
  • Enjoys reciprocal games like peek-a-boo
  • Attempts to get others attention via squeals and cries
  • Demonstrates eye contact and joint engagement with others
  • Imitates familiar words
  • Understands simple instructions
  • Recognizes words as symbols for objects: Car – points to garage, cat – meows


  • Understands “no”
  • Demonstrates a growing vocabulary with at least 50 words by the age of two years
  • Imitates words and sounds spoken by others
  • Combines two words such as “daddy bye-bye”
  • Waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake
  • Engages in giving/showing activities by pointing and bringing objects to others
  • Makes the “sounds” of familiar animals
  • Gives a toy when asked
  • Uses words such as “more” to make wants known
  • Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose
  • Brings an object from another room when asked
  • Demonstrates knowledge of basic routines (bathtime, dressing, bedtime)


  • Identifies body parts
  • Carries on ‘conversation’ with self and dolls
  • Speech is mostly understood by immediate family members
  • Asks “what’s that?” And “where’s my?”
  • Uses 2-word negative phrases such as “no want”
  • Forms some plurals by adding “s”; book, books
  • Has a 450-word vocabulary
  • Gives first name, holds up fingers to tell age
  • Combines nouns and verbs “mommy go”
  • Understands simple time concepts: “last night”, “tomorrow”
  • Refers to self as “me” rather than by name
  • Tries to get adult attention: “watch me”
  • Likes to hear the same story repeated
  • May say “no” when means “yes”
  • Talks to other children as well as adults
  • Solves problems by talking instead of hitting or crying
  • Answers “where” questions
  • Names common pictures and things
  • Uses short sentences like “me want more” or “me want cookie”
  • Matches 3-4 colors, knows big and little


  • Can tell a story
  • Has a sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Speech is understood most of the time by people outside of the immediate family
  • Beginning to use grammatical markers to indicate tense (past, present, future)
  • Use of pronouns my, yours, his hers, he she etc.
  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words
  • Name basic colors
  • Understands “yesterday,” “summer”, “lunchtime”, “tonight”, “little-big”
  • Begins to obey requests like “put the block under the chair”
  • Knows his or her last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes


  • Has sentence length of at least 4-5 words consistently
  • Uses past tense correctly
  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words
  • Points to colors red, blue, yellow and green
  • Identifies triangles, circles, and squares
  • Understands “In the morning,” “next,” “noontime”
  • Can speak of imaginary conditions such as “I hope”
  • Understands “yesterday,” “summer”, “lunchtime”, “tonight”, “little-big”
  • Asks many grammatically correct questions, asks “who?” And “why?”
  • Uses a variety of grammatical forms to indicate tense, plurality, possession


  • Has a sentence length of at least 5-6 words consistently
  • Speech is understood by all listeners, all of the time time despite some developmental articulation errors on L, R, and TH
  • Has a vocabulary of around 2000 words
  • Defines objects by their use (you eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of
  • Knows spatial relations like “on top”, “behind”, “far” and “near”
  • Knows his/her address
  • Identifies a penny, nickel, and dime
  • Knows common opposites like “big/little”
  • Understands “same” and “different”
  • Counts ten objects
  • Asks questions for information
  • Distinguished left and right hand in herself
  • Uses all types of sentences, for example, “let’s go to the store after we eat”

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2011