Hearing Problems and Speech and Language Milestones
Children may reach speech and language milestones at different ages. But in some cases, a child that isn’t developing speech and language on track may have a hearing problem.
Signs of a hearing problem
Being able to hear is important for good speech and language growth. A child who doesn’t respond to sounds or who isn’t developing language skills may have trouble hearing. The age guidelines below may help you know if your child has a hearing problem. Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you think your child isn’t developing speech and language skills on time.
Milestones of speech and language
Birth to 3 months
4 to 6 months
7 to 1 year
1 to 2 years
Can point to a few parts of the body
Points to pictures in books when asked
Asks simple two-word questions
Continues to add new words
Uses 2-word phrases, like "more milk"
2 to 3 years
Knows some spatial concepts, such as "in," "on"
Has words for most things
Follows tow-step instructions
Uses 3-word sentences
Friends and family can understand much of what is said
Enjoys hearing stories
May have trouble with some sounds
3 to 4 years
Can hear you from another room
Can hear the television and radio at same volume as others
Identifies colors and shapes
Talks about daycare, preschool, or other activities
Use 4-word sentences
Uses plural words, like shoes or socks
Uses pronouns, like you, me, her
Strangers are able to understand much of what is said
Answers simple questions, such as "What do you do when you are hungry?"
4 to 5 years
Understands words for time, like today and tomorrow
Understands words for order, like first and last
Follows more difficult or multi-step directions
Can say all speech sounds
Identified letters and numbers
Can tell a short story
Able to have a conversation