Warning Signs for Speech Language Delay


Age 12 to 18 months:


  • at 12 months, does not use gestures such as waving or shaking head

  • by 12 months, is not practicing using a couple of different consonants

  • by 12 months, is not somehow communicating to you when needs help

  • at 15 months, does not understand and respond to NO

  • at 15 months, cannot say at least 1 to 3 words

  • at 18 months, is not saying at least 6 to 10 words


Age 19 to 24 months:


  • by 19 to 20 months, is not pointing out things of interest, such as bird overhead

  • by 20 months, is not producing at least 6 different consonant sounds

  • at 21 months, does not pretend play (brushing doll’s hair)

  • by 24 months, does not imitate action or words of others

  • by 24 months, cannot point to named pictures in book

  • at 24 months, cannot join 2 words

  • at 24 months, does not know the function of common household objects


Age 25 to 36 months:


  • at 26 months, uses no 2 word simple sentences

  • at 30 months, cannot name at least 3 body parts on self

  • by 32 months, has difficulty singing fragments of nursery rhymes

  • at 36 months, does not ask questions

  • at 36 months, cannot be understood by strangers at least half the time

  • at 36 months, is unable to articulate initial consonants (says all for ball)

  • by 36 months, is unable to name most common household objects


Age 3 to 4 years:


  • at 3, cannot speak in short phrases

  • by 3, is unable to understand short instructions

  • at 3, has no interest in interacting with other children

  • at 3, has extreme difficulty separating from a parent

  • by 3 ½ , consistently fails to add the final consonant to words

  • at 4, still stutters frequently, often accompanied by facialb grimacing

  • at 4, is not fully understandable


(Speech & Language Development Chart, 2nd ed., A. Gard, L. Gilman, J. Gorman)

How to Enhance Your Childs Speech

& Language Skills


  • Read, Read and Read more to your child

  • Look at your child when you speak

  • Listen to what your child has to stay

  • Take child grocery shopping & identify different foods.

  • Talk about the color and shape of everything

  • Use spatial and directional words (under, above, in, etc.)

  • Compare objects

  • Discuss the function of an object (what an iron does)

  • Ask child questions and listen for the correct answer

  • Use descriptive words (long, curly, short, tall)

  • Understand time (day, night)

  • Quantity (whole, half, all)

  • Count out loud

  • Allow child to help with cooking and discuss steps

  • Use prepositions

  • Say a short sentence and encourage child to repeat

  • While putting together a puzzle, take turns and name the picture on the puzzle

  • Imaginary play

  • Acting out

  • Speak clearly to child


Basically, the most important thing you do with your child to enhance their speech and language skills would be to talk to your child, listen to your child, and interact with your child.  The child learns from his caregiver.










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