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Info for Parents

Communication Development   Babies; You might think that development of your child’s talking does not begin until he/she starts using words. But babies communicate from birth. They cry, smile, babble, look at you and listen to your voice. Babies communicate what they want and what they need- hunger, nappy change, pain, tired, too hot, too cold and more.  During the first 12 months, babies develop the foundation skills for talking;
  • Smiling
  • Recognizing familiar people and their voices.
  • Looking at your face particularly when you are talking to them.
  • Poking out their tongue and moving their lips when you talk to them.
  • Copying actions. Babies will learn to copy actions with toys and to wave good bye.
  • Make sounds and babble.
  • Learn how to have a conversation.   Babies learn that conversations are about taking turns, looking at the other person in the conversation and using facial expressions and body movements. Your baby makes sounds, you respond to your baby with words, smiling and actions. Your baby then makes more sounds, smiles and looks at you.
  • Respond to his/her name.
  • Understand familiar routines and words such as; bath time, nappy change, come, no, kiss, up, bye.
First Words;
  • Babies say their first words between 9 and 15 months.
  • At his stage, babies also begin to use pointing and gesture such as holding an object out for you to look at, putting their hands up to be picked up.
  • By 18 months, they have learnt many words, approximately 12 to 20, and some babies have begun to put 2 words together to form simple phrases.
  • Babies learn the words they hear regularly and words for objects and actions in which they are interested.
  • Develop a vocabulary of more than 50 words eg: ‘no, gone, mine, car’.
  • Use simple sentences eg: milk all gone, more milk.
  • Say the names of simple body parts eg: nose, tummy.
  • Understand routines and simple sentences eg: ‘We’re going in the car’ ‘Where’s your shoe?
3 year olds;
  • Understand how objects are used eg: a pencil is something to draw with.
  • Follow directions.
  • Are developing understanding of concepts eg: big/little, up/down, in/on/under.
  • Use 3 and 4 word sentences.
  • Begin to use basic grammar.
  • Enjoy telling stories and asking questions.
  • Speech is understood by familiar adults.
4 year olds;
  • Understand some ‘time’ words eg: lunch time, today, summer.
  • Understand shape and colour names.
  • Understand a range of concepts eg: behind, same/different.
  • Ask who, what and why questions.
  • Use long 5 and 6 words sentences.
  • Use joining words, such as ‘and, because’, to extend sentence length and complexity.
  • Use correct grammar with occasional errors eg: ‘I falled down’.
  • Use language when playing with others.
  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by most people.
Ready for school;
  • Understand opposites eg: wet/dry, hot/cold, on/off.
  • Use long sentences with correct grammar.
  • Talk about what is happening, what has happened or might happen.
  • Explain why something happens eg: ‘Mum’s car stopped because the petrol ran out’.
  • Explain the function of objects eg: ‘I need a spoon to eat my cereal’.
  • Follow 3 part instructions eg: ‘Stand up, put your shoes on and wait at the door’.
  • Say how they feel and tell you their ideas.
  • Interested in writing, numbers and reading.
  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by anyone.
(Reference: ‘Learning to Speak and Listen- what to expect in the first five years’ Speech Pathology Australia)