Psychological Services

Developmental Milestones

Language: 12 to 18 months

Phonology:

  • Uses sentence like intonations (jargon)
  • Some echolalia
  • Uses most vowels and consonants in jargon
  • Omits final consonants and some initial consonants
  • Basically unintelligible with exception of a few words
  • Words produced with CV structure emerge (bo/boat)

Semantics:

  • Follows simple one-step commands
  • Points to recognized objects (emerging nomination)
  • Points to wanted objects (emerging state)
  • Begins to claim certain objects (emerging possession)
  • Points to one to three body parts on command
  • Identifies two or more objects or pictures from a group
  • Perceives other’s emotion
  • Uses 3 to 20 words
  • Vocalizes with gestures
  • Says “all gone” (emerging negation)
  • Answers question, “What’s this?”
  • Asks for “more” (emerging recurrence)

Syntax-Morphology:

  • 50% of all utterances are nouns
  • Mean length of response is one or two words

Pragmatics:

  • Brings object to show an adult
  • Requests objects by pointing and vocalizing or possibly using a word approximation
  • Solicits another’s attention vocally, physically, and possibly with a word (Mommy)
  • Gesturally requests action/assistance (may give back wind up toy to request activation)
  • Says “bye” and possibly a few other conversational ritual words such as “Hi” “Thank you” “Please”
  • Protests by saying “no” or shaking head, moving away, frowning or pushing object away
  • Comments on object/action by directing listeners’ attention to it with a point and vocalization or word approximation
  • Answers simple wh questions with vocal response (may be unintelligible)
  • Acknowledges speech of another by giving eye contact, vocally responding or repeating a word said
  • Teases, scolds, warns using gesture plus a vocalization or word approximation

Play:

  • Solitary or onlooker play- self-play
  • Continual walking activities
  • Begins running-stiff and awkward
  • Scribbles spontaneously with crayon
  • Can remove mittens, socks, hat, unzips zipper
  • Puts objects in and out of containers
  • Can figure out ways of overcoming some obstacles (opening doors, reaching high places)
  • Imitates many things (sweeping, combing hair, self-use)
  • Pulls toys, carries or hugs doll, teddy bear
  • Very rapid shifts in attention, especially expressed by gross motor shifts

Language: 18 to 24 months

Phonology:

  • More words than jargon, jargon almost gone by two years
  • Asks question by raising intonation at end of phrase
  • Improvement in intelligibility –child expected to be 65% intelligible by the end of two years
  • Appearance of words that use CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) structure (such at hot)

Syntax-Morphology:

  • Follows directions using one or two spatial concepts of in or on
  • Negotiation used in the form of word, “no” to adult request
  • Emerging possessive (Daddy car)
  • Refers to self with pronoun and name (me Marcos)
  • 33% of utterances are nouns
  • Combines two words into phrase (by two years) (noun + verb or noun +adjective format)
  • Mean length of response is 1.8 words

Pragmatics:

  • Uses single words or short phrases to express the intentions listed at 1 to 1 ½ year level
  • Names objects in front of others
  • Says “What’s that” to elicit attention
  • Begins using single words and two word phrases to command (move), indicate possession, (mine), and to express problems (owee)
  • Much verbal turn-taking

Play:

  • Parallel play- plays near others but not with them
  • Talks to self as he plays
  • Little social give and take-little interest in what others say or do but hugs, pushes, pulls, snatches, grabs, defends rights by pulling hair and kicking
  • Does not ask for help
  • Procrastinates
  • Strings beads
  • Transports blocks in a wagon rather than just building
  • Relates action to object or another person-wakes, feeds, combs doll in addition to self
  • Likes to play with flexible materials such as clay, pats, pinches and fingers
  • Less rapid shifts in attention

Semantics:

  • Comprehends approximately 300 words
  • Listens as pictures are named
  • Listens to simple stories and identifies those heard before that were enjoyable
  • Points to five body parts on self or doll
  • Responds with head shake to yes or no questions
  • Object permanence (understanding that objects still exist even if not seen for awhile-established attachment and the understanding that parents will return) is fully acquired
  • Discriminates food from other objects (unwraps candy prior to eating)
  • Imitates current events happening at the time
  • Uses approximately 50 recognizable words
  • Uses names of most familiar objects
  • Produces animal sound or uses its name
  • Verbalizes toilet needs (closer to age two years) either before, during or after the act
  • Identifies and names five or more pictures by two years
  • Says own name on request –refers to self with full name
  • Verbalizes “no”
  • Verbalizes immediate experiences
  • Combines two words into phrases –may use three to four word response by two years
  • Begins to use some verbs and adjectives

Pragmatic 3 to 4 years

  • Engages in longer dialogues
  • Assumes the role of another person in play
  • Uses more fillers to acknowledge partner’s message (un-huh, yeah, okay)
  • Begins code switching (using simpler language) when talking to very young children
  • Uses more elliptical responses
  • Requests permission
  • Begins using language for fantasies, jokes, teasing
  • Makes conversational repairs when listener has not understood
  • Corrects others
  • Primitive narratives emerge, events follow from central core/use of inference in stories

Developmental Expectations for age: 3 to 3 ½ years:

Phonology:

  • Intelligibility (65% by two years and 80% by 2 ½ to 3 years)
  • Phonological processes disappearing by age 3: consonant assimilation, diminutization, doubling, final consonant deletion, prevocalic voicing, reduplication, unstressed syllable deletion, and velar fronting

Syntax-Morphology:

  • Beginning to use “is” at beginning of questions
  • Regular third person singular tense (s) emerging (he runs)
  • Contracted forms of modals (won’t, can’t)
  • Uses “and” as conjunction
  • Irregular plural forms emerging (child/children)
  • Uses “are” with plural nouns (boys are running)
  • Regular plural forms are consistent
  • Uses: is, are, and am in sentences
  • Mean length of response is 4.3 words
  • Combines four to five words in sentences
  • Uses compound sentence with “and”

Play:

  • Builds bridge from model
  • Cooperative play begins
  • Organizes doll furniture accurately and begins to use in genuinely imaginative ways
  • Draws two or more strokes for a cross-on imitation
  • Beginning to share
  • Reenacts experienced events such as birthday party, baking cookies
  • Uses one object to represent another (stick=phone or fence)

Semantics:

  • Comprehends 1,500 (900 words by 2 ½ to 3 years)
  • Listens to 20 minute story by 2 ½ to 3 years
  • Knows front and behind when object with logical front and back is used
  • Identifies hard, soft, rough and smooth
  • Identifies circle and square
  • Responds to commands involving two actions
  • Responds to commands involving two objects
  • Able to match sets (42 months)
  • Uses 800 words (500 intelligible words by 2 ½ to 3 years)
  • Responds appropriately to simple, “How?” question
  • Can answer two or three questions (What do you do when you are hungry? Sleepy? Cold?)
  • Can ask simple questions (“what’s that” by 2 ½ to 3 years)
  • Beginning of question seeking stage (asks mainly “what” and “who” questions)
  • Names 8 to 10 pictures
  • States action
  • Supplies last word of line (The apple is on the …)
  • Counts three objects pointing to each

Language: 3.5 to 4 yrs

Phonology:

  • Becoming very intelligible in connected speech
  • Continued refinement of articulatory skills taking place
  • Consonants mastered: b, d, k, g, f, y

Phonological process continuing after age 3: cluster reduction, depalatalization, epenthesis, final devoicing, gliding, stopping, vocalization

Syntax-Morphology:

  • Possessive marker “s” consistent
  • Regular third person singular (-s) consistent
  • Simple past tense (t, d) consistent (walk, walked)
  • Present progressive ”is + ing” consistent
  • Contractions used constantly
  • Uses negative “not” consistently
  • Pronouns: he, she, I, you, me, mine, consistent
  • “Are, they, their” used inconsistently
  • Reflexive pronoun “myself” emerging
  • More adverbs of time and manner are being used
  • Conjunction “because” emerging
  • Uses “got” (I got it)
  • “What was ….What were” questions emerging
  • “Was ….Were,” yes/no questions emerging (was he there?)
  • Mean length of response is 4.4 words
  • Combines four to five words in sentences
  • Complex sentences used frequently
  • Imperatives and emphatics used consistently
  • Parts of speech now in stable relationship[1]

Play:

  • Increase in dramatization of play
  • Complicated ideas but unable to carry out in detail, no carryover from day to day
  • Prefer to play in group of two to three children, child chooses companion of own sex
  • Suggests turns, but often bossy in directing others
  • Often silly in play and may do things wrong purposely
  • Puts toys away
  • Likes to dress up
  • Draws a human with two parts. Adds three parts to incomplete human
  • Builds structures/buildings with blocks
  • Assumes the role of another person in play (becomes a teacher, animal, parent)

Semantics:

  • Comprehends 1,500 to 2,000 words
  • Knows front and back of clothes
  • Responds to commands involving three actions
  • Recognizes one color
  • Uses 1,000 to 1,500 words
  • Answers 13 agent + action questions (who ate the cookie/noun + verb)
  • Can do simple verbal analogies (Daddy is a man, Mommy is a..)
  • Answers (responds appropriately) to “how much” and how long” (length of time) questions-not necessarily correctly
  • Tells two events in order of sequence
  • Can tell story mixing real and unreal
  • Long, detailed conversations
  • Repeats 12 to 13 syllable sentence-one of three trials
  • Can answer three of three questions (what do you do when you’re hungry/sleepy/cold?)
  • Appropriately answers “what if” questions (what would you do if you fell down?)
  • Asks how, why, when questions/asks for detailed explanations

Gross Motor skills for the age of 30 to 35 months

  • Balances one foot for one second when shown how
  • Hops on one foot forward or in place, either foot 2 to 3 hops
  • Walks on tiptoes ten feet when asked

Gross Motor skills for the age of 36 to 41 months

  • Pedals a riding toy
  • Balances and walks on a four inch wide board or beam
  • Consistently walks up and down stairs alternating feet with hand on rail

Gross Motor skills for the age of 42 to 47 months

  • Runs 15 yards for 6 seconds or less (runs in coordinated manner and without falling age 24 to 29 months)
  • Hops forward on one foot, three or more hops
  • Walks heel to toe
  • Goes up stairs without support alternating feet
  • Consistently walks up and down stairs alternating feet with hand on rail

Fine Motor skills for the age of 30 to 35 months and younger

  • Screws and unscrews jar lids
  • Uses small beads and pegs
  • Holds object in one hand while using the other
  • Turns regular book pages one at a time (age 24 to 29 months)
  • Turns knob to open door (18 to 23 months)

Fine Motor skills for the age of 36 to 41 months

  • Consistently reaches for and grasps objects with one hand
  • Rolls clay or play dough on table to make ropes
  • Consistently completes an easy three piece puzzle

Fine Motor skills for the age of 42 to 47 months

  • Buttons and unbuttons one medium sized button
  • Grasps thick marker or large chalk with crude opposition of thumb and fingers
  • Buttons and unbuttons quarter inch buttons
  • Makes flat round cake by pressing and patting dough on table with fingers

Visual skills for the age of 36 to 41 months

  • Matches by texture
  • Identifies object only when shown part of it

Visual skills for the age of 42 to 47 months

  • Guesses a full picture from looking at half of it
  • Consistently completes a four to five piece puzzle

Pragmatic language 3 to 4 yrs

  • Engages in longer dialogues
  • Assumes the role of another person in play
  • Uses more fillers to acknowledge partner’s message (un-huh, yeah, okay)
  • Begins code switching (using simpler language) when talking to very young children
  • Uses more elliptical responses
  • Requests permission
  • Begins using language for fantasies, jokes, teasing
  • Makes conversational repairs when listener has not understood
  • Corrects others
  • Primitive narratives emerge, events follow from central core/use of inference in stories

Pragmatic languae 4 to 5 years

  • Uses indirect requests
  • Correctly uses deictic terms such as this, that, her, there
  • Uses twice as many effective utterances as a 3 years old to discuss emotions and feelings

Narrative development characterized by unfocused chains of words, stories have sequence of events but no central character of theme

4.5 to 5 yrs

Phonology:

  • Few omissions and substitutions of consonants
  • Very intelligible in connected speech

Semantics:

  • Understands the concept of number three, (give me just three)
  • Knows between, above, below, up, bottom
  • Answers 14 agent + action questions (who ate the cookie/noun + verb)
  • Responds appropriately, not necessarily correctly, to “how far” questions
  • Defines four words in terms of use
  • Uses “what do” “does” “did” questions

Play

  • Makes cube gate from model
  • Shows off dramatically
  • Much self-praise
  • Uses dolls and puppets to act out scripts
  • Good imaginative play

Visual motor 30 to 35 mos

  • Catches a large ball thrown gently from very close
  • Pours accurately from one container to another
  • Dresses self obtaining help for fasteners
  • Undresses with help only for fasteners and pullovers with narrow necks (age 24 to 29 months)
  • Kicks a ball forward with either foot without support (age 24 to 29 months)
  • Scoops from one container to another to feed self without spilling (age 18 to 23 months)
  • Copies housework and other activities parent does (age 12 to 17 months)

Visual motor 36 to 41 months

  • Makes continuous cuts with child safe scissors
  • Throws tennis ball five to seven feet overhand with one hand
  • Catches a ball thrown from five feet away

42 to 47 months

  • Puts shoes on correctly, on correct feet
  • Brushes teeth with horizontal and vertical motions
  • Kicks a ball while it is rolling, rolled from 4 feet away
  • Throws a small ball underhand five feet, hitting a two foot square target two feet above the floor

Gard, Gilman & Gorman, Speech and Language Development Chart, Pro-ed, Inc. 1993