• Sound Development Age Chart

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  • Strategies for Promoting Language Growth


    At age 3, the following skills should be emerging. By age 6, skills should be mastered.

    Receptive Language (Listening and Understanding)

    Understands increasingly large vocabulary (including understanding of most words used to label things in familiar environments such as home and at school.)

    Listens/attends to language for increasingly longer periods of time.

    (when books are read, during games & conversations with adults and other children,etc).

    Consistently responds to their names, requests for action or information.

    Understands many types of questions:
    ("Who?" "What?" "Where?" "Why?" "Yes or No?") and understands what type of response is required.

    Can hear and understand most of what is said at home and in school.

    Follows 1-2 simple directions in sequence.

    Expressive Language (Speaking with words and sentences)

    Uses verbal language to communicate for many purposes such as: expressing wants and needs, ideas, opinions, feelings, talking about new and varied topics, and foretelling stories.

    Uses increasingly large number of words (including ability to name most  in familiar environments such as at home and at school.)

    Asks questions and makes comments related to the topic of discussion.

    Describes experiences and creates and /or retells stories.

    Starts, maintains, and ends conversations with other children and adults appropriately.

    Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.

    Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.


    Strategies for Promoting Language Growth:

    Read, Read, Read!!!

    Read a variety of materials with your child often.

    Make sure that you have your child's attention before you speak.

    Pause after speaking. This gives your child a chance to continue the conversation.

    Continue to build vocabulary. Introduce a new word and offer its definition, or use it in a context that is easily understood. "I think I will drive the vehicle to the store. I am too tired to walk."

    Talk about spatial relationships (first, middle, & last; right & left) and opposites (up & down).

    Offer a description or clues, and have your child identify what you are describing: "We use it to sweep the floor" (broom). "It is cold, sweet, and good for dessert. I like strawberry (ice cream)."I Spy something we use to cut paper" (scissors), "something that is blue that we use to drive to the store" (car)

    "Name all of the things you can drink."

    "How are a car and a truck different, how are they the same?"

    Give one, two, and three step directions. Play games or use these directions during daily activities. Take turns to allow your child a chance to give directions.

    Use the TV! Know what your child is watching and use it to your advantage. Talk about "who" was in the episode, "what happened?", "where did it happen?", "was there a problem?", "did they work out a solution?""what if you changed the ending?".  Are there questions your child has about the program?  Tie it to interests and help them find the answers. 

    What if there is just NO TIME??!! Use daily activities-grocery shopping, talk about the food, the process of how to pick things...if they are heavy/light. Count how many blue cars you see on the way while driving. Name as many things you see that start with the "s" sound or that are bigger than the car.-Adapted from: "Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development" (2008).

    Available from the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


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  • Strategies to Improve Articulation


    -Be a strong speech model

    -Have your child watch you when you are speaking to reinforce the correct placement of your tongue and mouth

    -If your child can easily make the sound with practice, ask your child to attempt accurate production of single words following your model

    -Always restate your child's intended word in correct form (ex. "I saw a tat in my yard" would be reinforced as "You saw a CAT in your yard?")






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