Early Language and Communication

Is your child under 3 years of age? Are you concerned with your child’s language and communication development?

Up to 3 years of age children go through lots of language development. Each child develops
and learns language and how to communicate at different rates, but most children should
reach certain milestones or levels.
For example, babies begin to babble between 6 and 9 months. By 12 months they begin to
say their first words. By 3 years of age families and friends should understand most of what
their children say, however they might still find it hard to say all sounds the correct way (e.g.
say ‘cat’ as ‘tat’).

When should I contact a Speech Pathologist?

  • if your child is very hard to understand
  • if your child is frustrated that people cannot understand them
  • if your child has difficulty understanding what you say or ask them
  • if your child does not play simple games with you
  • if your child does not communicate with you through gesture and/or words
  • if you are worried about your child’s speech development

What can a Speech Pathologist do?

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your child’s language and communication development across key areas:

  • expressive language: how your child uses words to communicate and join words together to express their needs and wants
  • receptive language: how well your child understands language
  • gestures: how does your child use non-verbal forms (e.g. pointing, reaching) to communicate their wants and needs
  • play skills: who does your child play with, what does your child play with and how does your child play with or explore different toys and objects (e.g. pretend play, imaginative play, symbolic play)
  • speech: what sounds and word structures (e.g. up, cup, puppy) is your child using
  • pragmatics: when and how does your child attempt to communicate with you or other people

Provide individualised therapy that meets your child’s needs and stage of development in a fun and meaningful way.

What else should I do?

Get your child’s hearing checked because children learn to speak by listening and
hearing speech.