Different Stages of Speech Development in Children

All parents are very happy when they hear their child say his first words. However, speech development in children does not end with first words. It occurs in several different stages. Words ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ are neither the beginning nor the end of this process.

Normal speech development in children starts in about a month. It does not start with the first understandable words. However, children should start showing reaction to sounds at that time. They will also change their facial expressions while cooing and gurgling. This stage is often considered to continue until the child is six months old. It also includes the child getting used to his name and being able to differentiate the friendly and angry tones.

The next stage of speech development should end around the time child reaches age of 1 year. At this stage, the child should cry less and rather start babbling and laughing more frequently. The first words are also expected during this stage. Also, the child perfects his skills of communicating his needs. Facial expressions get even more developed. Intonation and ability to understand simple instructions and questions is also developed.

Child’s vocabulary and ability to follow simple commands should further improve during the next six months of his life. Most children have vocabulary of between 5-20 words at this age. Though, the child’s vocabulary will mostly consist of nouns. He should also be able to recognize some objects by their names.

The fourth stage ends at around the age of 2 years. The child should be able to name familiar objects and form first simple sentences. However, parents should be aware of the fact that most children will only form sentences consisting of 1-2 words at this age. Interesting thing is that vocabulary increases rapidly. Most children know at least 150 words by the end of their second year. They also start using pronouns I, me and you.

During the next year of their lives, children will further develop their vocabulary, reasoning skills and ability to compose sentences. Child should be able to recognized parts of the body and provide reasonable answers to simple questions. It is also expected for a child to have vocabulary of about 900 words. Most children are also able to easily use meaningful sentences of at least 3 words.

The next stage ends at about fourth year. The child should be able to name animals, recognize several colors and identify familiar pictures in picture books. Also, understanding of prepositions and comparative prepositions gets more developed during this stage. It is also common for child to comment on his own activities as he carries them out.

Before the end of sixth year of his life, child should be able to use more complex sentences. These sentences can sometimes consist of up to 9 words. The child should also be able to count to 10 and understand simple words expressing the time, for example morning, afternoon. Another important thing is that speech should consist of intelligible expressions. The understanding of relations between objects and happenings should also be developed before the end of sixth year.

The last stages take place during the seventh and eighth years of life. Child should be able to read, write and tell time before the end of seventh year. Later on, reading and writing skills should develop even further. Understanding of time and number concepts will also improve. As for the communicating skills, child should be able to communicate at rather adult level.

To conclude, there are several different stages of speech development in children. The first stage usually starts shortly after the child is born. The speech then develops gradually until the end of eighth year. Children should be able to communicate almost at adult level by that time. If they are not, there is a chance something is wrong.