top of page
Boy Playing with Blocks


Language develops with specific milestones, just like crawling and walking. Some children far exceed these milestones and are speaking in sentences before age two. Other children may not be speaking by at all by age two, which would be a concern. A speech therapist can assess your child's language skills and determine ways to support advancement and development. Babies as young as 6 weeks have language milestones! This means it is NEVER too early to start speech therapy if you are concerned about your child's language. If you have been advised to "wait and see," please contact us and we can do a screening and provide you with more detailed information. ​

  • expressive language: this is what a child says to make their wants/needs known, to comment or play. Some children might not say as much as other children or get frustrated because they cannot communicate. This can often result in adverse behaviors such as temper tantrums, hurting others, themselves or objects. ​​

    • By age 15 months: at least 5 words​

    • Be age 2: at least 50 words and putting at least two words together

    • By age 3: at least 1,000 words and putting at least 3 words together. Children also begin to use "little words" and parts like -ing, -ed, in/on, plural -s, etc. You can generally have a conversation with this age but you might have to keep it going. They can also answer basic wh- questions. 

    • By age 4: Immense vocabulary and putting at least 4 words together. All of those little words and verb tenses should be mastered (past tense, future tense). These children tend to carry on the conversation with you! Endlessly! 

    • By age 5: Children should speak in at least 5 word sentences but most can do 10+. They should also answer complex questions and demonstrate imaginative, complex, pretend play. 

  • receptive language: this is what a child understands when others speak to them. Impairments of receptive language could look like trouble with following directions, trouble pointing to named objects, difficulty with listening when there is a lot of noise. 

    • Age 1: come to you when you reach out your arms and say "come here." ​Children this age will also look at objects or people that you name or look in the direction you are pointing. 

    • Age 2: Will follow directions that are routine  such as "bring my your shoes" or "time for a bath, go to the bathtub."

    • Age 3: Follows more complex, multistep or new/unexpected directions. 

    • Age 4: Can follow any direction, including ones that have a "first/then" component or are more complex. They can also answer complex questions.

    • Age 5: Children can easily answer comprehension questions from a story and follow along with a conversation. 

bottom of page