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The Checklist...

If you are concerned about your child’s speech or language development, please view our online age-based Child Checklists or complete our online enquiry form to have one of our Speech Pathologists contact you.

1 to 5 years

By 12 months of age

  • Can the child respond to their own name?

  • Does the child look at you when you are talking to them?

  • Does the child respond to ‘no’?

  • Does the child respond to words or phrases other than ‘no’, without help from gestures? (e.g. “Time for bed”, “Where’s Mummy/Daddy”, “Want drink”, “Look”).

  • Does the child understand and anticipate routines? (e.g. child understands that mum putting on the bib means ‘food’; shows anticipation of the tickle when singing "Round and round the garden"? 

By 2 years of age

  • Can the child follow simple instructions and questions? (e.g. ‘Put that down’ or ‘Where’s your shoe?’)

  • Can the child point to their body parts? (e.g. tummy, nose, ear, eye, hair) 3. Can the child understand ‘action’ and ‘descriptive’ words? (e.g. jump, sleep, big, gone, yummy).

  • Can the child give you a familiar object when asked (e.g. “Give me the ball”) and identify pictures in books? (e.g. “Where is the dog?”).

  • Does the child use toys appropriately? (e.g. stacks blocks, drives cars, feeds dolls).

By 3 years of age

  • Can the child show you an object when you say what it is used for? (e.g. “Show me the one you cut with”).

  • Does the child understand words such as hungry, thirsty, sleepy? (e.g. “Are you thirsty?”).

  • Can the child follow simple directions? (e.g. “Put the cup in the sink”, “Get Daddy a towel”).

  • Can the child understand describing words such as wet, dirty, soft?

  • Does the child understand: * some location words including ‘on’, ‘in’, ‘off’, ‘out of’ (e.g. “Take the shoes off the table”)? * some quantity words including ‘one’, ‘some’, ‘all’, ‘rest’ (e.g. “Can you give me all the blocks?”)?

By 5 years of age

  • Can your child talk about what has happened and what might happen? (eg “It rained yesterday – it might rain tomorrow’)

  • Can your child say sentences using correct grammar with only a few errors? (eg ‘I caught the ball when you ‘throwed’ it to me’) 

  • Can your child produce all sounds accurately except the /v/ and /th/ sounds? 

  • Can your child speak in complex sentences using words like ‘because’, ‘if’, ‘so’, ‘while’, ‘but’, ‘then’, ‘when’? 

  • Can your child make up rhymes? (eg Mum says ‘cat’, ‘fat’; child adds ‘mat’)

  • Can your child carry out 3-4 step instructions (eg ‘Get your lunchbox, put it in your bag and wait at the door’)? 

  • Can your child understand ‘before’ and ‘after’ and other time sequences? (eg morning, afternoon, day, night, tomorrow, yesterday)

  • Can your child understand specific describing words? (eg curly, tall, light)

  • Can your child understand ‘why’ questions – responding with a reason? (eg ‘Why did you eat all the biscuits?’ – ‘Because I was hungry’)

  • Does your child understand adult language? (eg ‘The girl was pushed over by the boy’)

  • Can your child tell you the first sound in words? (eg ‘boat’ starts with the ‘buh’ sound)

By 6 years of age

  • Can your child pronounce all sounds except /th/?

  • Does your child number have concepts up to 7 ? 

  • Is your child’s speech completely understandable and socially useful?

  • Can your child tell a connected story about a picture, seeing relationships between objects and happenings?

By 7 years of age

  • Does your child handle opposite analogies easily? (e.g. girl-boy,short-long,blunt-sharp,sweetsour etc)

  • Does your child understand such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc?

  • No Can your child tell the time to the quarter hour?

  • Can your child engage in simple reading and write or print many words?

By 8 years of age

  • Can your child relate rather involved accounts of events, many of which occurred at some time in the past?  

  • Does your child use complex and compound sentences with few lapses in grammatical constructions-tense, pronouns, plurals?

  • Is your child reading with considerable ease and now writing simple stories?

  • Does your child use social ‘niceties’ in appropriate situations? 

  • Is your child’s control of rate, pitch and volume appropriately established?

  • Can your child carry on a conversation at a rather adult level?

  • Does your child follow fairly complex directions with little repetition?

  • Does your child have well developed time and number concepts?

By 9-12 years of age

Throughout these years, your child’s verbal and written communication skills should continue to flourish. Does your child have any difficulty with listening, talking, reading, spelling or writing stories?

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