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Language and Communication

This information is provided by Speech-Language and Audiology Canada 

All of our Early Learning programs have access to Speech-Language Pathologists.

Early intervention is critical for children with communication problems. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are involved in the prevention, identification and treatment of a child’s speech, language and hearing disorders in partnership with parents, physicians, educators and health-care providers, as difficulties with communication affect the whole family.



Does your child:   YES NO 

• make cooing sounds 
• have different cries for different needs 
• smile at you 
• startle to loud sounds 
• soothe/calm to a familiar voice 



Does your child:    YES NO

• babble and make different sounds                                           
• make sounds back when you talk       
• enjoy games like peek-a-boo              
• turn his/her eyes toward a sound source    
• respond to music or toys that make noise                                                                  

7 TO 12 MONTHS: 

Does your child:    YES NO 

• wave hi/bye 
• respond to his/her name 
• let you know what he/she wants using sounds, and/or actions like pointing 
• begin to follow simple directions  (e.g., Where is your nose?) 
• localize correctly to sound by turning his/her head toward the sound 
• pay attention when spoken to 

BY 12 TO 18 MONTHS: 

Does your child:      YES NO

• use common words and start to put words together 
• enjoy listening to storybooks 
• point to body parts or pictures in a book when asked 
• look at your face when talking to you 

BY 18 TO 24 MONTHS: 

Does your child:    YES NO 

• understand more words than he/she  can say 
• say two words together (e.g., More juice)  
• ask simple questions (e.g., What’s that?) 
• take turns in a conversation 

2 TO 3 YEARS: 

Does your child:    YES NO 

• use sentences of three or more words  most of the time 
• understand different concepts  (e.g., in-on; up-down) 
• follow two-part directions (e.g., take  the book and put it on the table) 
• answer simple questions (e.g., Where is the car?) 
• participate in short conversations 


Does your child:      YES NO 

• tell a short story or talk about daily activities 
• talk in sentences with adult-like grammar
• generally speak clearly so people understand  
• hear you when you call from another room  
• listen to TV at the same volume as others 
• answer a variety of questions 

4 TO 5 YEARS: 

Does your child:     YES NO 

• pronounce most speech sounds correctly  
• participate in and understand conversations  even in the presence of background noise 
• recognize familiar signs (e.g., stop sign)  
• make up rhymes 
• hear and understand most of what is said at home and school 
• listen to and retell a story and ask and answer questions about a story

If your child is not meeting these developmental milestones, please contact your local health clinic or school.

Taken from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada