Speech and communication are significant factors in a child's development. Speech development milestones help us understand whether a child has mastered age-appropriate speech and language skills.
The ability to understand language begins developing for children while still in the womb. However, most of the developments related to speech take place between the ages of 2 and 5 years. A newborn baby communicates only through his cry. But, as he grows up, he understands the need for communication using speech. And, he begins to communicate using familiar sounds that everyone, including him, can identify and recognise. This communication includes both receptive and expressive language skills. While receptive language skills include the ability to understand words and language, expressive language skills entail using words to communicate what we feel or mean.
Parents should bear in mind that language and speech capabilities assist and impact areas like academic performance as well as social relationships. So, it is crucial to monitor the development of speech skills.
Here is a list of age-appropriate speech development milestones that your child should achieve.
0 - 3 months:
3 - 6 months:
6 - 9 months:
9 - 12 months:
12 - 18 months:
18 - 24 months:
2 - 3 years:
3 - 4 years:
4 - 5 years:
Children master language abilities within an approximate age range. While some do it earlier, others do so at a gradual pace. However, parents should remember that children who are consistently exposed to sounds tend to pick up language skills faster. So, provide ample opportunities for your child to listen, interact and communicate.
And, if you have any concerns about your child's speech development, contact your paediatrician at the earliest. If required, he might recommend certain assessments and therapies that can help in putting things back on track.
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