#1 – So you are aware when a milestone has not been met
The development of communication skills begins in infancy; long before first words start to happen. Any time a child does not meet a milestone this should be brought to the attention of a professional right away. Not meeting milestones could be an indicator of a speech and/or language problem or red flag for a larger developmental concern.
#2 – So you can help them reach their next step
Parents and caregivers are a young child’s first and most important teachers. The types of interactions and experiences children have with the adults in their lives has a major influence on how kids develop language. Strong speech and language skills in early childhood have been linked to better reading skills, better academic skills, improved behaviour regulation abilities, better social skills and higher wage earnings as adults. Knowing what a child is suppose to be doing and when is the first step in successful teaching.
Use the checklists below as a guideline to find out where your child’s speech, language and literacy skills should be for their age, and what to expect for their next step.
American Speech and Hearing Association (n.d.). How Does Your Child Hear and Talk? Retrieved online on April 7, 2016 at link
Apel, K. & Masterson, J. Beyond Baby Talk. From Speaking to Spelling: A Guide To Language and Literacy Development For Parents and Caregivers. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2012
Bredekamp, S. and Copple, C., eds. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs: Revised Edition. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 1997.
Hoff, E. Language Development (3rd ed.). Belmont: CA, Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.
Lanza, J. R., & Flahive, L. K. Communication Milestones. East Moline: IL, LinguiSystems Inc., 2008.
Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (n.d.). Your Baby’s Speech and Language Skills From Birth To 30 Months. Retrieved online on April 7, 2016 at link
Paul, R. Language Disorders From Infancy Through Adolescence: Assessment and Intervention, 3rd ed. New Haven, CT: Mosby Elsevier, 2007.
Pro Ed. Inc. Development of Play (2nd ed.). Speech and Language Development Chart.
Sax, N. & Weston, E. (2007). Language Development Milestones. Retrieved online on May 11, 2016 at link
Swigert, N. The Early Intervention Kit: Activities Book. East Moline: IL, Linguisystems, Inc., 2004.
Tomlin, C. (n.d.). Play: A historical review. Early Childhood News. Retrieved online on April 30, 2018 at link