Talkabout at Telethon Speech & Hearing

The ability to understand and be understood is critical to being able to function effectively in the modern world.

Everything from socialising with friends to holding gainful employment requires a gamut of speech and language, social and literacy skills that have their foundation in early childhood.

However, for children with speech and language delays, some or all of these skills are not so easily attained. These children may need a more intensive approach to learn how to understand what has been said, to form sounds correctly or to know how to string words together into effective sentences.

The best teacher is you!

Don’t worry though, you are not expected to do it alone. There are health and education professionals who can help you to find strategies that will help to support your child’s speech and language development at home.

Speech & Language Milestones

Every child acquires speech and language skills at their own rate. However, generally speaking there is a common timetable for when we can expect to see a child reach certain milestones.

18 months – More single words

Understanding and Listening
·       Understands about 50 common words such as ‘drink’, ‘car’, ‘shoe’.
·       Understands simple instructions such as ‘Come here’, ‘Stop’, ‘Kiss mummy’.

Talking
·       Copies words and sounds other people say such as ‘mamma’ and ‘woof’.
·       Uses between 5-20 simple words although may not always be understood by unfamiliar adults.

 Talkabout at Telethon Speech & Hearing

2 years – Combining words

Understanding and Listening
·      Understands about 500 words.
·      Understands instructions such as ‘Go and get your teddy’.
·      Understands simple questions such as ‘Where is your shoe?’

Talking
·       Starts to put 2-3 word sentences together such as ‘More juice’ or ‘Want more juice’.
·       Can be understood by a familiar adult about half of the time.

 Talkabout at Telethon Speech & Hearing

3 years – Language grows rapidly

Understanding and Listening
·       Understands longer instructions involving 2 steps such as ‘Find the cup and put it in the red bucket’.
·       Understands concepts of size (big and little) and position (in, on, under).
·       Understands ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions and simple ‘What?’, ‘Where?’ and ‘Who?’ questions.

Talking
·       Makes 4 – 5 word sentences such as ‘I want more juice please’.
·       Uses action words such as ‘run’ and ‘fall’.
·       Can be understood by an adult most of the time.

 Talkabout at Telethon Speech & Hearing

4 years – Asking many questions

Understanding and Listening
·       Follows more complicated instructions involving 2 steps such as ‘Get your bag and put your shoes on’.
·       Understands more complex questions such as ‘Who?’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’?

Talking

·       Uses longer sentences and links sentences together to retell a story.
·       Describes events that have already happened such as ‘We went to the park’.
·       Asks many questions using words like ‘What?’, ‘Where’ and ‘Why?’.
·       Speech is easy to understand.

Talkabout at Telethon Speech & Hearing

5 years – Beginning to use language to read

Understanding and Listening
·       Understands more complicated language such as ‘First’, ‘Last’, ‘Maybe’, ‘In between’.
·       Understands the concept of opposites such as ‘The opposite of hot is cold.’
·       Follows instructions involving 3 steps such as ‘Get your book, put it in your bag and then put your bag by the door.’

Talking
·       Beginning to tell news.
·       Uses well-formed sentences and joins sentences using ‘and’, ‘then’, ‘because’ and ‘but’.
·       Speech is easy to understand.

These milestones are designed to be used as a guide only.

If you have concerns regarding any of these areas, the Talkabout program at Telethon Speech & Hearing may be able to assist. Talkabout is a specialised language program for children aged 18 months to 6 years of age, who are experiencing a speech and language delay or disorder. Talkabout has a team based approach. This team includes you and your family, the Talkabout teacher and assistants, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, a family liaison officer and audiologists. Talkabout is a registered school and may be able to help you and your child on your journey.

Visit www.tsh.org.au or call (08) 9387 9888 and speak to our Talkabout team for more information. 

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