communication milestones
Families
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3-4 Year Communication Milestones

Posted on
November 10, 2022
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When your child reaches 3 years of age, they could be interacting more with peers if they are in a setting with other children. If they're at home with their family, they're communicating their wants and needs more effectively through verbal communication to get their needs met. This is a critical time as many children who weren’t flagged in their earlier years of development for speech and language issues now are above the radar.

Developing your child's language

Parents start becoming more concerned with speech and language development, and teachers in pre-k programs and day care programs will be a second set of ears for parents who may have not noticed specific challenges as familiar listeners. While early intervention from 0-3 wasn’t incorporated into a child’s speech and language exposure, now is going to be the time to address areas that may have been missed in the younger years of development. Or were latent for a while and brought to the surface now. Phonological awareness skills start to be taught during this time as sound letter correspondence is brought to the attention of the children. This is crucial in developing pre-literacy skills.

As language development continues to grow rapidly through different exposures, both inside and outside of the home, a word bank of about 1,000 words is anticipated. This vocabulary is now being incorporated into sentences that are expanded upon. 4-5 sentences will be common!

Guidelines of communication milestones:

Receptive  Language Expressive Language Speech Social 
Understands colors and names associated with family members.
  • Develop ability to rhyme
  • Answers simple wh- questions
  • Formulate sentences with 4 words; expect syntactical errors
  • Includes appropriate pronouns
  • Vowels acquired by 3 years
  • Less challenges with enunication of  /k/, /g/, /t/ and /d/
  • f, s, h Sounds present in 50% of 3 year olds and 90% of 5 year olds
  • Join in play with other children
  • Able to share and take turns by 4
  • Start to use language socially- greeting, exiting the conversation,commenting, asking questions

References:
  1. Speech and Language Developmental Milestones | NIDCD
  2. CDC’s Developmental Milestones
  3. ASHA Developmental Norms for Speech and Language
  4. Speech Milestones
  5. Speech Pathology Australia
Sharon Baum
Clinical Director, United States and M.A. CCC-SLP