Does my child need to see a speech pathologist?

There are certain speech and language milestones that we expect children to reach as they are growing and developing. 

It is worth seeing a speech pathologist if your child: is stuttering, is very difficult to understand, or has great difficulty understanding what is being said or communicated to them. 

If your child has very restricted or limited food preferences a speech pathologist may be able to help.

Speech and language milestones

12 months

  • Starting to say single words as well as babbling and copying sounds
  • Understanding about 10 words
  • Responds to their name
  • Makes eye contact

18 months

  • Follows simple instructions (e.g. get your shoes)
  • Uses objects for pretend play (e.g. holds something to their ear like a phone)
  • Can point to pictures in a book
  • Says upto 20 single words

2 years

  • Follow simple two-part instructions (e.g. pick up the orange and banana)
  • Responds to simple wh questions (e.g. where, what)
  • Says more than 50 single words
  • Puts two words together (e.g. mum shoes)

3 years

  • Sorts items into groups (e.g. food and transport)
  • Says 4-5 words in a sentence
  • Understands more complex two part instructions (e.g. give me the ball then hide the teddy)
  • Understands concept of same and different

4 years

  • Shows awareness of hearing beginning and end sounds of words
  • Able to answer most questions about daily activities
  • Describes recent events
  • Uses words such as he/she/it and can’t/don’t

5 years

  • Understand time related words e.g. before, after, now
  • Follows three part instructions
  • Uses well formed sentences understood by most people
  • Can use past and future tense (e.g. went, will go)