Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

All children develop at their own pace, but there are many signs to look for to determine if their speech and language skills are developing appropriately for their age.

Between 12 months-18 months:

– Starts to use words (mama, dada), should start saying 10-20 words

– Recognizes name

– Understands no

– Waves bye

– Can get objects when asked

– Makes animal sounds (meow, moo)

By age 2:

– They should use a minimum of 50 words or more

– Puts 2 words together (ex. mommy car)

– Can point to body parts (nose, eyes, foot, etc.) and clothing (shirt, shoes, etc.)

– Follow simple 1 step commands (ex. get your shoes)

– Names a variety of nouns (family members names, animals, food, etc)

– Makes a request using words more than gestures (saying juice instead of pointing)

– They should turn and look when they hear their name or hear unfamiliar sounds

– Begin asking questions

By age 3:

– Uses a large vocabulary of words

– Caregivers/family members should understand 50-75% of your child’s speech

– They should no longer drop the last consonant in a word (ex. Ca for cat)

– Begins using 3-4 word phrases

– Follow 2-3 step directions

– Knows some basic concepts (big/little, match colored objects)

– Enjoys parents attention to watch them do things (watch me)

By age 4:

– Uses over 1000 words

– Has a sentence length of 4-5 words

– Names some colors

– Can tell a story

– Understands terms like ‘yesterday’ and ‘tonight’

– Family members and strangers should understand 75-90% of your child’s speech


For more information, go to ASHA’s website. Look under Developmental Norms for Speech and Language

*If your child has a history of ear infections or failed hearing screenings, it is highly recommended they have their speech and language skills screened or evaluated by a Speech-Language Pathologist. It is also recommended you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor or Audiologist to regularly check inner ear function and hearing.


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