Parents and caregivers are often curious about what to expect and watch for as their child starts to communicate and use language.
In fact, the most common questions we receive here at the Collaboration are about whether children are developing age-appropriate language. If you are wondering about when you might expect your child to achieve certain language milestones, you are not alone.
To add to these general questions, many parents have new questions about whether the pandemic has impacted children’s language development. Many young children have spent the past two years in masked learning environments, and many continue to wear them. Has mask-wearing affected language learning for young children? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “there is no known evidence masks interfere with language development or social communication. Plus, children can still get plenty of mask-free face time at home.” Children and babies are resilient and will find ways to work around masking to learn language.
From the moment they are born, babies are constantly finding ways to communicate and connect with the people around them. The more you sing, talk, ask questions, read, sign, and connect with your child, the more you are jump-starting their communication skills and supporting your child’s language development.
As a parent or caregiver, hearing a child’s first words is a momentous occasion, but speech and language skills are fascinating, complex, and can take time to master. Some children start saying words at one year old, but some children this age may be working on other areas of development and not yet speaking by year one. In fact, some sounds might take a child until age eight to get the hang of some sounds. Children need time and opportunities to experiment with words and sounds, and to receive affirming reactions and responses from you to continue on their communication journey. Below, find charts and additional resources that give a general outline of age appropriate speech milestones.
- Age Appropriate Speech and Language Milestones, 0-5
- This chart shows speech errors that are age appropriate
- CDC’s Learn the Signs Act Early Resources Incorporate Speech and Language into the broader range of Developmental Milestones
- Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Watch and Help Me Grow
If you have concerns about your child’s speech or other aspects of their development, talk to your pediatrician. You can also contact local, public services to discuss your concerns and schedule a developmental screening for your child. You are also always welcome to reach out to us here at the Collaboration for Early Childhood if you have any questions.