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How Does Your Child Hear & Talk?

How Does Your Child Hear & Talk?

A child starts communicating with the parent or caregiver long before he says his first word. However, every child is unique and follows an individual pace of reaching the two key milestones in their growth and development, which are: “Hearing” and “Talking”. It’s important to keep a close eye on the developing patterns of your child’s behavior, as any hearing, speech or language problem will have a significant effect on the child’s communication, social and academic skills.

The below chart demonstrates the checklist of developmental milestones versus age by which most children accomplish the listed skills of Hearing & Understanding, and Talking:

Hearing and UnderstandingTalking
Birth to 3 Months

- Startles to loud sounds

- Quiets or smiles when spoken to.

- Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying Cries differently needs
- Smiles when sees you

- Increases or decreases sucking behavior in response to sound

- Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, going)

- Cries differently need

- Smiles when sees you

4 - 6 Months
- Moves eyes in direction of sounds

- Responds to changes in your tone of voice
- Notices toys that make sounds

- Pays attention to music

- Pays attention to music
- Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b, and m

- Vocalizes excitement and displeasure

- Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you
7 Months – 1 Year
- Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Turns and looks in direction of sounds. Listens when spoken to.

- Recognizes words for common items like "cup", "shoe", "juice"

- Begins to respond to requests ("come here", "where's your shoe?")

- Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes. Points to pictures in a book when named
- Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as "tata upup bibibib"

- Uses speech of non-crying sounds to get and deep attention

- Imitates different speech sounds. Has 1 or 2 words (bye-bye, dada, mama) although they may not be clear
1 – 2 Years
- Points to a few body parts when asked

- Follows simple commands and understands questions ("Roll the ball", "kiss the baby", "where your shoe?")

- Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
- Points to pictures in a book when named
- Says more words every month

- Uses some 1-2 word questions ("where kitty?" "go bye-bye" "what's that"). Puts 2 words together ("more cookie", "no

- juice", "mommy book")
Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words and images
2 - 3 Years
- Understands differences in meaning ("go-stop", "in-on", "big-little", "up-down")

- Follows two requests ("Get the book and put it on the table")
- Has a word for almost everything

- Uses 2-3 words to talk about and ask for things

- Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time

- Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them
3 - 4 Years
- Hears you when you call from another room

- Hears TV or radio at the same loudness level as other family members

- Answers simple "who?", "what?", "where?", "why?", questions

- Talks about activity at school or at friends' homes

- People outside family usually understand child's speech

- Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words

- Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words
4 - 5 Years

- Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it

- Hears and understand most of what is said at home and in school

- Voice sounds clear like other children's

- Uses sentences that give lots of details (e.g., "I like to read my books")

- Tells stories that stick to the topic

- Communicates easily with other children and adults

- Says most sounds correctly except a few like I, s, r, v, z, j, ch, sh, th

Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family


It’s important to state here that children under 5 years of age generally do not develop all characteristics in a category until they reach the upper age in each age bracket. So if you find that your child has not accomplished one skill within an age bracket, it does not imply that your child has a disorder. However, if you think that your child doesn’t have most of the skills from the above checklist, please don’t delay and seek the advice of a speech-language Pathologist or Audiologist. If you have any concerns about your child’s speech, please schedule a speech screening at 80024392.

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