Speech Pathology Australia produced the Communication Milestones Kit1 to provide information for parents and carers about the role of speech pathologists. The kit also assists parents and carers to find a speech pathologist if they are unsure about whether their child is having difficulty with his or her speech, language and communication.
Download the Communication Milestones Kit (PDF versions accessible from within)
What’s in the kit?
The Communication Milestones Kit is a series of A4-sized downloadable information sheets and an A3-sized poster. These outline the talking and understanding milestones for children aged 1-5 years.
The information sheets and poster outline how early childhood educators and speech pathologists can work together to ensure that children reach these milestones within the expected timeframes.
The kit also presents information on the role of speech pathologists and how to find a speech pathologist.
The information sheets are a useful tool to start a conversation about a child who may be having difficulty with their speech, language and communication.
Understanding and speaking “between the flags”
Information sheet: 12 months
Information sheet: 18 months
Information sheet: 2 years
Information sheet: 3 years
Information sheet: 4 years
Information sheet: 5 years
A3-sized Communication Milestones Poster
Understanding and speaking “between the flags”
Children learn to communicate by interacting with early childhood educators, family, and friends. Early childhood educators and speech pathologists can support children to build their communication and keep them developing “between the flags”.
Early childhood educators and speech pathologists can work together to:
- find out which children are understanding and speaking “between the flags”
- create communication-supporting learning spaces
- help children with a range of communication needs.
Speech pathologists can also provide therapy to help children with:
- understanding and using pictures, symbols, signs, gestures, speech sounds, words and sentences
- taking turns and making eye contact
- building skills for later reading and spelling
- stuttering, voice and feeding difficulties.
Don’t “wait and see”
Concerned about a child’s communication? Contact Speech Pathology Australia.
Find a Speech Pathologist.
The NSW Government: Western NSW Local Health District have developed Waiting for Speech Pathology web pages. Sometimes children need to wait to see a speech pathologist due to high demand for services. These web pages provide information and resources for families and others to support children’s communication development in everyday situations, while you wait to see a speech pathologist.
Communication Milestone poster sources
Pepper, J., and Weitzman, E. (2004). It Takes Two to Talk: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Language Delays (4th Ed). Toronto: The Hanen Centre.
The Communication Trust. (n.d.). Universally speaking: The ages and stages of children’s communication development from birth to 5 years. Retrieved 2017 from www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/universallyspeaking
The Communication Trust (2014). Early identification and why it’s important for pupils in your school. Retrieved 2017, from www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/media/253193/1_4_early_identification_final_july_2014.pdf
Paul, R., and Norbury, C. F. (2012). Language disorders from infancy through adolescence (4th Ed). St. Louis, US: Elsevier Mosby.
Roth, F., and Worthington, C. (2011). Treatment resource manual for speech-language pathology (4th Ed). NY: Delmar.
References supporting speech milestones
James, D. G. H., van Doorn, J., & McLeod, S. (2008). The contribution of polysyllabic words in clinical decision making about children's speech. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 22(4), 345 - 353.
McLeod, S., & Crowe, K. (2018). Children’s consonant acquisition in 27 languages: A cross-linguistic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 1546–1571. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0100
McLeod, S., Crowe, K., & Shahaeian, A. (2015). Intelligibility in Context Scale: Normative and validation data for English-speaking preschoolers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 46(3), 266-276. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0120
Additional speech references
Masso, S., McLeod, S., Wang, C., Baker, E., & McCormack, J. (2017). Longitudinal changes in polysyllable maturity of preschool children with phonologically-based speech sound disorders. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31(6), 424-439. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1305450
Phạm, B., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2017). Validation and norming of the Intelligibility in Context Scale in Northern Viet Nam. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31(7-9), 665-681. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1306110
To, C. K. S., Cheung, P. S. P., & McLeod, S. (2013a). A population study of children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56(1), 103-122. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0080)
Ng, K. Y. M., To, C. K. S., & McLeod, S. (2014). Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale as a screening tool for preschoolers in Hong Kong. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 28(5), 316-328. doi:doi:10.3109/02699206.2013.865789