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  • Stephanie Bare, MS, CF-SLP

Red Flags of Speech Development


With the holidays and a new calendar year quickly approaching, you may start to question whether your child’s speech and language are on target compared to their relatives or friends. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

- If your child is 3 months old and is not smiling or interacting with others

- If your child is 7 months old and is not babbling (buh, buh, buh or ma, ma, ma)

- If your child is 12 months old and is only making few sound, not using gestures, doesn’t look when there is a loud noise, the child doesn’t respond when their name is called

- If your child is 18 months old and does not understand what others when asked to follow a simple command or is only saying and a few words

- If your child is 2 years old and isn’t putting two words together, has fewer than 50 words or experiences a loss of language

- If your child is 3 years old and is not playing with other children, doesn’t show interest in books, produces speech that unfamiliar listeners do not understand, has trouble getting words out, gets stuck on words, and repeats the first sounds of words (i.e. j-j-j-juice), hold out the first sounds of words for a long period of time (i.e. bbbbbball), says p, b, m, h, n, incorrectly most of the time.

- If your child is 4 years old and says k, g, or t incorrectly most of the time

- If your child is 5 years old and says kw, d or f incorrectly most of the time

- If your child is 6 years old and has difficulty following 1-2 step directions, answering yes/no questions, understands that words are made up of different sounds, doesn’t recognize words by sight, says ch, j, l, s, sh, y, bl, or ng incorrectly most of the time

- If your child is 7 years old and has difficulty: retelling stories in a sequence, answering “wh” questions, retelling past experiences, starting conversations, identifying letters, identifying sounds in short words, expressing ideas through writing. Says r, v, br, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, kl, kr, pl, st and tr incorrectly most of the time.

-If your child is 8 years old and has difficulty: following 3-4 step directions, appropriate eye contact, conversational turns, reading aloud with fluency, understanding beginning, middle and end. Says z, sl, sp, sw, and th incorrectly most of the time.

If at any point your child demonstrates a hoarse or breathy voice for longer than a week, your child sounds like they are talking with their nose pinched or they sound like they have a cold with no other symptoms for an extended period of time, please seek professional care.

#SpeechDevelopmentalMilestones #SpeechConcerns #SpeechTherapy

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