Milestones Of Communications
There are critical milestones that are rough “rules of thumb” for the majority of children with normal hearing. If your child is more than 2 to 3 months delayed compared to the age groups mentioned below, it may indicate hearing loss or delayed speech-language development.
The sensory organ of hearing called the cochlea is full adult size and enables a fetus to hear by the twentieth week of pregnancy. This means that voices of parents and other sounds can be heard even before birth. However, their ability to use hearing comes with experience. Most babies are born with normal hearing. If your newborn is awake, alert and quiet, you may observe eye movement or a slow head turn in the direction of a sound.
At five months, babies begin to seek the sound source. At about this age, the head turn changes from a reflexive activity (in the newborn) to a purposeful response. Try making soft sounds from behind and to one side as your baby looks straight ahead. Shaking a soft rattle at ear-level or whispering the baby’s name should elicit a head turn towards the source. Infants should startle when they hear very loud sounds, but should also respond to soft sounds. During the first year, a baby’s ability to accurately locate sounds is refined. Your baby should look for the sources of common sounds such as the doorbell, the telephone ringing, a door opening, children playing, or a musical toy.
By 6 months, babies recognize speech sounds of their own language more than those of a foreign language. They recognize familiar voices, play with their own voices, engage in vocal play with parents, and experiment with multiple speech and non-speech sounds.
By 9 months, a baby should demonstrate an understanding of simple words like “mommy,” “daddy,” “no,” and “bye-bye.”
By 10 months, a baby’s babbling should sound “speech-like,” with single syllables strung together (“da-da-da-da”). The first recognizable words emerge at about this time.
By 12 months, one or more real, recognizable spoken words emerge.
By 18 months, babies should understand simple phrases, point to body parts, and retrieve familiar objects on command (without gestures). They should have a spoken vocabulary of between 20 and 50 words and short phrases like “no more,” “go out,” and “mommy up”.
By 24 months, a toddler’s spoken vocabulary should be 200 to 300 words coupled with the emergence of simple two-word sentences. Most speech should be understandable to adults who are not with the toddler on a daily basis. Toddlers should be able to sit and listen to read-aloud storybooks.
3 to 5 Years
Between 3 and 5 years, spoken language should be used constantly to express wants, reflect emotions, convey information, and ask questions. A preschooler should understand nearly all that is said. Vocabulary grows rapidly from 1000 to 2000 words, which are linked together in complex and meaningful sentences. All speech sounds should be clear and understandable by the end of the preschool period.
If you feel your child is delayed compared to the age groups mentioned above, it might indicate hearing loss. Contact us at 469-803-5552 to schedule an appointment to test your child’s hearing.