The following normative data have been collected from a variety of sources.

Milestones at birth – 6 Months

  • Shows interest in the sound, tone, and volume of voices
  • Quieted by a familiar voice
  • Adapts to various noise levels
  • Responds to various sounds/voices by blinking, crying, quieting, changing breathing, or looking startled
  • Watches speaker’s face
  • Stops moving when name is called (4 – 6/7 months)
  • Cries, coos, gurgles, and creates other sounds from back of mouth to show pleasure or displeasure
  • Produces mostly vowel sounds earlier on (e.g., ahhhh, uhhhh, oohhh)
  • Begins producing consonant sounds such as “m”, “k”, “g”, “p”, “b”. (6 months)

Milestones at 6 – 12 Months

  • Shows a reaction to certain words (e.g., no, bye bye)
  • Follows some simple commands accompanied by a gesture (e.g.,
  • Pick up your blanket.)
  • Anticipates an event and responds to it (e.g., How big is Joey? – Soooo big)
  • Listens selectively and attentively (e.g., Body becomes still when he hears “mommy” or “daddy”)
  • Bounces to the beat of a favorite song
  • Copies sounds made by others
  • Mimics mouth movements
  • Uses intentional gestures, pushing or pulling to communicate nonverbally
  • Produces most vowels (6 months)
  • Repetitive and variable babbling (e.g., puhpuhpuh, dadadada, badababee)
  • Manipulates pitches and tones to resemble real words and sentences (Has a beginning singsong pattern)
  • First words appear around 12 months.

Milestones at 12 – 18 Months

  • Identifies familiar objects when named (Points to or gets object.)
  • Understands up to 50 words
  • Understands simple commands (e.g., Give Teddy a kiss.)
  • Looks to family members when named
  • Has a vocabulary of 3 – 20 words
  • Uses one word sentences with gestures and jargon to communicate
  • May leave off sounds at the beginning or end of words

Milestones at 18 – 24 Months

  • The following normative data have been collected from a variety of sources.
  • Points to 3
  • 5 body parts on self when named
  • Follows simple directions without cues/gestures
  • Understands up to 200 words
  • Has a vocabulary of more than 20 and as many as 45 words
  • Refers to self by name
  • Uses single words, jargon and gestures
  • Beginning to use 2 word utterances (e.g., More juice, No sleep.)

Milestones at 2 – 3 Years

  • Follows 2 step commands (e.g., Come here and get your juice.)
  • Understands several pronouns (Him, his, your, mine)
  • Points to pictures in a book when named
  • Understands some quantity concepts (i.e., one versus all)
  • Understands simple prepositions (e.g., in, out, on, off)
  • Understands some descriptive words (e.g., big, little, wet, dirty, fast, slow)
  • Uses pronouns (e.g., you, me, my, mine)
  • Begins to use his own name
  • Vocabulary increases from 45/50 words to between 200 and 300 intelligible words
  • Uses 3-4 word combinations (By age 3)
  • Begins to use some grammatical markers (i.e., -ing verb ending, plural and possessive “s” ending)
  • Uses negatives (won’t can’t, don’t)
  • Uses words like “because”, “or”, and “if”
  • Asks simple questions (i.e., Who, What Where, Yes/No)
  • Creates monologues when in crib
  • Uses rising inflection to ask questions
  • Speech is 60-70% understandable to unfamiliar listeners
  • May leave off sounds at ends of words
  • Uses “p,b,m,n,w,h,f,ng,y,k,g,t,d”

Milestones at 3 – 4 Years

  • Knows many more body parts
  • Knows most primary colors
  • Begins to make inferences (e.g., If I do this, then this will happen)
  • Follows three action commands (e.g., Get your shoes, put them on and get your coat.)
  • Vocabulary increases to 900-1500 words by 4 years of age
  • Can count to ten
  • Retells stories
  • Uses “would, should, wouldn’t, shouldn’t”
  • Uses future tense verbs (i.e., will)
  • Over generalizes rules of grammar (I eated a banana.)
  • Answers “When” questions
  • Begins to understand simple jokes
  • Begins to use language to communicate inner thoughts and feelings
  • Imitates most adult sounds and words
  • Sings various songs
  • Creates imaginary friends
  • Begins to speak clearly enough so that strangers can understand him

Milestones at 4 – 5 Years

  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand him
  • Remembers parts of stories and creates her own stories
  • Makes inferences
  • Interpret language very literally
  • Asks “How”, “When” and “Why” questions

Milestones at 5 – 6 Years

  • Understands concepts “first” and “last”
  • Understands about 4000 words
  • Understands concepts of “right” and “left”
  • Understands more quantity concepts (e.g., whole, half)
  • Understands some jokes, surprise, make – believe/pretend
  • Has mastered grammatical rules. Uses adult – like grammar (e.g., – verb tenses, filler words, plurals, possessives, irregular plurals, irregular verb tenses, etc.)
  • Has mastered most speech sounds