|Birth to 5 months
- Vocalizes pleasure and displeasure sounds (laughs, giggles, cries or fusses)
- Makes noise when talked to
|6 to 11 months
- Understands "no-no"
- Babbles (says "ba-ba-ba)
- Says ma-ma or da-da without meaning
- Tries to communicate by actions or gestures
- Tries to repeat your sounds
- Says first word
|12 to 17 months
- Answers simple questions nonverbally
- Says two to three words to label a person or object (pronunciation may not be clear)
- Tries to imitate simple words
- Vocabulary of four to six words
|18 to 23 months
- Correctly pronounces most vowels and n, m, p, h, especially in the beginning of syllables and short words - also begins to use other speech sounds
- Vocabulary of 50 words, pronunciation is often unclear
- Asks for common foods by name
- Makes animal sounds such as "moo"
- Starting to combine words such as "more milk"
- Begins to use pronouns such as "mine"
- Uses two word phrases
|2 to 3 years
- Knows some spatial concepts such as "in", "on"
- Knows pronouns such as "you," "me," "her"
- Knows descriptive words such as "big," "happy"
- Vocabulary of 250 to 900 words
- Uses three word sentences
- Knows 50-100 words
- Speech is becoming more accurate but may still leave off ending sounds - strangers may not be able to understand much of what is said
- Answers simple questions
- Begins to use more pronouns such as "you," "I"
- Uses question inflection to ask for something such as "my ball?"
- Begins to use plurals such as "shoes" or "socks" and regular past tense verbs such as "jumped"
|3 to 4 years
- Groups objects such as foods, clothes, etc.
- Identifies colors
- Uses most speech sounds but may distort some of the more difficult sounds such as l, r, s, sh, ch, y, v, z, th - these sounds may not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8
- Uses consonants in the beginning, middle and ends of words - some of the more difficult consonants may be distorted, but attempts to say them
- Strangers are able to understand much of what is said
- Able to describe the use of objects such as "fork," "car," etc.
- Has fun with language - enjoys poems and recognizes language absurdities such as, "is that an elephant on your head?"
- Expresses ideas and feelings rather than just talking about the world around them
- Uses verbs that end in "ing," such as "walking" and "talking"
- Answers simple questions such as "What do you do when you are hungry?"
- Repeats sentences
|4 to 5 years
- Understands spatial concepts such as "behind," "next to"
- Understands complex questions
- Speech is understandable but makes mistakes pronouncing long, difficult or complex words such as "hippopotamus"
- Vocabulary of about 1500 words
- Uses some irregular past tense verbs such as "ran," "fell"
- Describes how to do things such as painting a picture
- Defines words
- Lists items that belong in a category such as animals, vehicles, etc.
- Answers "why" questions
- Understands more than 2,000 words
- Understands time sequences (what happened first, second, third, etc.)
- Carries out a series of three directions
- Understands rhyming
- Engages in conversation
- Sentences can be eight or more words in length
- Uses compound and complex sentences
- Describes objects
- Uses imagination to create stories