Want to find out whether or not your child’s communication is developing normally for their age? Here’s some information for you.

Learning to talk builds on a baby’s or child’s ability to:

see what’s going on around him,
move around to explore his world, and
move the parts of the body used for talking: the lips, tongue, and voice box.

If your child has difficulty with any of these, keep an eye on his/her language development and seek help if necessary.

Speech, language and communication play an indispensable role in our lives. Without being able to understand or communicate with people, we can’t function and do things like:

Communicate with our families and friends.
Buy things at the shops.
Watch television.
Build relationships.
Go to work.

Fortunately, most children do learn to communicate, though some ultimately become more functional and effective than others. Children develop communication skills from birth. They rely on speech, language and communication to be able to learn at school and play with their friends. They need these skills to reach their full potential.

Children begin to understand words before they can say them. They then learn how to say these words and how to put them together to make sentences.

Children develop speech, language and communication skills at different rates. Some develop quickly, while others may take longer.

Children need to:

Learn to understand words, sentences and conversations. This is often called ‘receptive language’.
Learn how to talk using words and sentences. This is often called ‘expressive language’.
Know how to use their language socially. For example, listening as well as talking, or talking to a teacher differently than to a friend. This is often called ‘pragmatic language’.
Say speech sounds correctly so they can be understood by others.

To find out more information about speech and language developmental milestones, please visit the website:

What to expect from your baby or pre-school child:

Some children attempt their first word before they are one year old. Others won’t speak until they are over two. Most of these differences don’t really matter, and some children will catch up with their friends quickly.

Children develop at different rates, so it’s difficult to give a definitive list of what a child should be able to do by a certain age.

Remember that you, the parent, play the most significant role in developing your child’s speech and language. Try the activities suggested by the Speech & Language Therapist as you go about your day. Many are meant to be fun, so there shouldn’t be any pressure for your child to join in.

Copyright © 2015, Kathryn Tse-Durham