Speech, Language and Feeding Info & Facts

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This page provides general guidelines for the typical development of speech, language and feeding in children. The following are general speech and language milestones:

  • Cognition - thinking, understanding and problem solving
  • Social interaction - group play, initiating play and contact with other children, intent to communicate
  • Language expression - vocabulary, sentence structure, language meaning and sentence length
  • Speech production - specific speech sounds and clarity

The following are general feeding milestones:

0-4/6 months: Liquid only. Babies develop at various rates and differences are common. However, a feeding should be efficient and effective from birth. Ideal feeding time takes 15-30 minutes and babies should be on a schedule with periods of obvious hunger vs. satiation. Latch should be with complete lip closure around the nipple from birth as well.

4/6-12 months: Pureed textures are introduced. While babies may gag initially or have preferences, they should adapt within 2-4 weeks. When children begin to crawl, they are developmentally able to chew table foods.

Please keep in mind that all children develop at their own pace and that most children will not follow the chart exactly. However, these milestones are helpful in determining if your child would benefit from a speech and language evaluation. Remember that the best expert on your child's behavior is you, so if you have any concerns, please contact the office with any questions. 

6 Months

  • Vocalizes with intonation changes
  • Responds appropriately to angry versus happy tones of voice
  • Recognized and responds to name

12 Months

  • Says at least 1-3 words meaningfully (mama, dada, more, etc.)
  • Imitates familiar words
  • Understands simple directions ("get ball", etc.)
  • Recognizes simple words

18-24 Months

  • Vocabulary increases to approximately 5-25 words (mostly nouns) at 18 months increasing to 150-300 words at 24 months
  • Combines two words ("more juice", etc.)
  • begins to use simple pronouns (mine, I, etc.)
  • Approximately 2/3 intelligible when talking
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Enjoys finger plays (pat-a cake, itsy bitsy spider, etc.)

36 Months

  • Identifies body parts
  • Uses short phrases ("more toys daddy", etc.)
  • Answer simple pronouns correctly (I, me, you, etc.)
  • Gives first name and shows age on fingers
  • Knows at least three prepositions (on, off, under, etc.)
  • Has a vocabulary of approximately 900-1000 words
  • About 90% intelligible when talking

48 Months

  • Can tell short stories in correct sequence
  • Uses 4-6 word sentences
  • Asks questions frequently
  • Can create imaginary play and stories
  • Uses numerous descriptive words
  • Knows opposites
  • Can count to 10
  • Speech should be easily understood at all times
  • Beginning to use longer sentences consistently
  • Uses past tense correctly

Between 5 and 6

  • Has a vocabulary of approximately 2000 words
  • Uses varying sentence structures easily
  • Speech is typically grammatically correct
  • Able to repeat 6-10 word sentences correctly
  • Uses compound sentences frequently

Between 6 and 7

  • Able to understand and express relationships between objects and happenings
  • Understands concepts such as "same, different, beginning, end", etc.
  • Simple reading and writing
  • Rhymes and identifies speech sounds easily

Between 7 and 8

  • Conversation is adult-like
  • Follows complex directions with minimal repetition or cues
  • Able to express feelings and reasoning in different social situations
  • Should be reading easily without frustration

end faq

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