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Ages and stages (developmental milestones)

Ages and stages (developmental milestones)

From the first few days of life, a child’s speech, language and communication skills start to develop. Children learn to communicate with the adults in their environment before they have developed speech skills or the skills required to understand and express language.

Although a child is not speaking they are processing the information around them including the familiar sounds and noises they hear. As a child continues to grow and develop, their speech, language and communication skills also develop. A child’s speech, language and communication skills grow with their exposure to language, life experiences and the communicative opportunities they are given.

Developmental stages

Early development 0-12 months

The child will use non-verbal communication to communicate with the world around them in the first days of life when they are unable to use speech.


Early infancy and toddler 12 months-3 years

Children begin to develop their speech, language and communication skills. Usually at different rates but achieving the same milestones.


Infancy 3-5 years

Children are now able to talk more about their experiences and thoughts as they enter school age. There language and communication skills start to progress rapidly.


Child 5-12 years

Children are able to use their language and communication for many functions, helping their literacy and reading skills to develop.


Teenager 13-18 years

Adolescents are continuously improving and developing their language and communication skills. This will continue to mature into adulthood.


Eating and drinking 0-2 years

Children develop at different rates but will develop certain eating and drinking skills before others.


Phonological milestones

Children usually develop their speech sounds in a particular order. The begins from the easier learned or produced sounds to the harder ones.


Attention milestones

Children must develop their attention before they begin to learn speech, language and communication skills fully. This usually follows a typical pattern of development.


All children develop at different rates, some may learn to walk at a faster rate than others, whereas some may say their first words very early on. There are general milestones that are agreed and accepted that children should meet by certain ages and stages of their life. Sometimes children do not always meet these milestones or are delayed in meeting them. Speech and language therapy can increase a child’s development and help children reach the milestones.

There are many reason for why a child may not be meeting their speech, language and communication milestones, such as developmental disorders, developmental delay and learning disability. Sometimes, the reason for a child not reaching their milestones is unknown.

Our speech and language therapists can provide assessment and therapy to improve a child’s development across each stage of their life. Our speech and language therapists are trained to assess and give therapy to children across all ages and abilities with varying conditions.

Development stages

If you feel your child is not reaching the milestones appropriate for their age, or have been alerted to this by a teacher or other professionals then please contact us to speak to one of our professional speech and language therapists on office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.

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Speech Clinic

Our speech and language therapists provide a range of services for children with speech, language and communication needs.

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Voice Clinic

We provide specialist speech and language therapy services for children with voice support needs.

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Feeding Clinic

Our expert speech and language therapists provide a range of services for children with eating, drinking and swallowing support needs, alongside our professionals multidisciplinary team.

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