Childhood development is extremely complex
These lists are intended to show you some of larger language and communication milestones in the order that they would typically develop for children.
Childhood Development:Language and Communication Milestones
This list does not include what age to expect each milestone to be met.
All children, and especially those with autism, develop language and communication at their own pace. What’s most important is that they continue to progress and learn.
This post is part of a 7 part series on techniques for improving communication skills. Each part of the series contains this table of contents so you can easily navigate to the other parts of the series.
Table of Contents
- Learning to Listen & Oral Language Comprehension
- Developing Oral Language Expression
- Developing Social Language and Conversation Skills
- Milestones of Play & Targeting Skills Through Play
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication Tools
- Childhood Development: Language and Communication Milestones
- The Functions of Echolalia
All children are unique and this includes their development. Consequently, language skills develop at different rates in different children.
Although, if you have concerns about your child’s development, a developmental pediatrician can help with determining specific areas of development that need nurturing.
In the mean time, this list will help you identify any developmental gaps which can be useful when working with your child’s team and creating goals.
The language and communication milestones in these lists
This model is often used by professionals in schools when creating individualized programming for children with ASD.
Language and Communication Milestones
Childhood development is commonly broken down into various domains. The language and communication
Joint attention development is more advanced than language/symbol use and is very social in nature. However, it is possible that skills will develop in each subdomain unevenly.
1. Language and Symbol Use
Learning by observation and imitation:
Use of gestures
Uses and understands words/language to express meanings
Understands words without contextual or gestural cues
For this sub-domain, the term “social partner” is used to describe any person your child is interacting with. This includes parents, teachers, peers, therapists, etc.
Shares Intentions for Various Purposes
Shares Experiences in Reciprocal Interaction
Persists and Repairs Communication Break downs
In order to help your child develop language and communication
If you try to teach skills that are too advanced for your child the result will be little or no progress, which can be discouraging.
Each of these language and communication milestones listed under each subheading builds upon the last.
However, your child’s development may be uneven across categories. These milestones are a tool to help you get an idea of your child’s development and to plan strategies to help improve communication skills.
Were there any specific skills in the list that are just emerging for your child? Make note and use these as a starting point for teaching new skills.