Children learn to talk through their everyday interactions with you and the people around them.
Knowing the early milestones can help you to keep an eye on your child’s progress and make sure they’re on track.
Follow our step by step guide below to see if your child is on track with their development.
There is a wide variation in children’s skills in the early years – use this information as a guide and try out our recommendations or seek advice from a Speech & Language Therapist if you are concerned about your child’s talking.
Track your child’s development so you can see how they are progressing and changing over time. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Use your mobile phone or tablet to video snapshots of your child’s skills
- Write down lists of words your child understands and can say
- If your child mispronounces some words, try to write down how they say these words (e.g. says ‘spoon’ as “boon” or says ‘sock’ as “dock”)
- Check your child’s skills against the ages and stages descriptions we’ve provided above
Remember to date your records so you can look back at a later date and compare with their current skills. Try to give your child a reasonable time to develop new skills, most children developing at the expected rates will show noticeable progress over a 3 month period.
If your child is a behind with their talking we recommend getting their hearing checked. Even if they passed their neonatal screen, Glue Ear (Otitis Media) is common in babies and toddlers. This is where an infection causes fluid to fill the middle ear which can lead to temporary hearing loss. Long term Glue Ear can sometimes result in delayed speech, language and communication development. Ask your Doctor or Health Visitor to refer you to your local Audiology department. Read more here….
2. Browse our Best Buys for Speech & Language Development here for helpful toys, books and days out
If you have tried out our tips and activities and feel you want something more structured to target specific skills, we offer a Skills Booster plan which offers home booster plans, downloadable games, resources and visual aids to support your child’s communication development in a more structured way at home. In addition, we also offer a Targeted Therapy plan which provides support more tailored to your child’s individual needs and includes online assessment, bespoke therapy plans and online reviews.
For more details visit our Therapy Centre.
If you have tried out our tips, activities and Therapy Centre options and still have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, it’s really important that you seek specialist support from a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Whilst this website has been expertly developed by qualified Speech and Language Therapists, some children require specialist therapeutic intervention to meet their specific needs and this can only be done following a face to face assessment. Here are some ways you can find a Speech and Language Therapist in your area:
Contact your local NHS Speech and Language Therapy Service. You can ask your Health Visitor or GP to refer you or there may be drop-in clinics that you can access for advice.
Alternatively, you may wish to access an Independent Speech and Language Therapist. You can search for a local Therapist via the Association for Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) website.
It’s essential that you are accessing support from a credible and qualified Speech and Language Therapist. All Therapists should be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can check the register here.