Communication Milestones

The following is a list of typical communication milestones by age.  If your child's development is not achieving these milestones a referral to a Speech-Language Pathologist is recommended.


A child developing at 2 years of age should:

  • Use at least 50 words
  • Be starting to combine words (i.e. "more juice")
  • Be able to point to pictures in a book when asked
  • Be able to follow 1-2 part directions within daily routines (i.e. "pick up your toys and put them away")

A child developing at 3 years of age should:

  • Be using a variety of words (500)
  • Be combining words into 3-4 word phrases
  • Demonstrate understanding of concepts like in/on/under, big/little
  • Be easy to understand by unfamiliar listeners
  • Understand basic questions (i.e.who/what/where)

A child developing at 4 years of age should:

  • Be using sentences of 4-6 words
  • Be using grammar forms like is, are, walking
  • Follow 3-4 part directions
  • Play and take turns with others
  • Be able to re-tell a simple story with a beginning and end

A child developing at 5 years of age should:

  • Be using grammatically correct sentences of 5-7 words
  • Use pronouns correctly (i.e. he/his/him/they)
  • Understand a variety of concepts like long, short, front, top
  • Describe objects by what they do (i.e. "things that you cut with")
  • Describe objects by feature (i.e. "they all have wheels")
  • Answer reasoning questions (i.e. "What do you do when you are hungry?")
  • Describe recent events/stories in the correct sequence