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Smiles spontaneously to human contact


Smiles when playing alone


Smiles at faces of several family members


Stops crying when spoken to


Shows different responses to different family members


Coos to caregivers

Baby on a Bed


Responds to "Come here baby!"

Becomes more outgoing with familiar people

Shows anxiety when separated from favorite caregiver

Likes to be with specific people

Uses speech sounds to get attention


Listens when spoke to

Says 1-3 words

Uses nouns almost exclusively

Understands simple commands

7-12 MONHS
Gay Couple with their Son

12-18 MONTHS

Follows simple directions, especially with gestures


Practices intonation, sometimes imitating an adult


Is aware of the value of communication


Uses much, meaningful jargon with inflection and emotion


Has an expressive vocabulary of 5-20 words


Produces 2-word phrases


Most speech is unintelligible


Combines gestures and vocalizations


Requests more of desired items

12-18 MONTHS
Boy with Type Machine

Names common objects

Uses 2-3 or more preposition like "in" or "under"


Uses noun + verb consistently

Listener understands 2/3 of what child says


Understands 300 words or more

Uses 100-200 words reliably

Rhythm and fluency of speech is poor


Confuses "I" and "me"

Poor control of pitch and volume


Follows commands such as "show me your nose"


Adding more words


Knows 5 body parts


Enjoys listening to stories


Answers "what's that" questions

18-24 MONTHS

18-24 MONTHS
Boy with Type Machine

25-36 MONTHS


​Understands of 500-900 words; Knows main body parts


Says 50-250 or more words

Requests items by name


Responds to some yes and no questions


Speech is 50-70% intelligible to strangers


Uses 3-4 word sentences; Asks 1-2 word request


Begins to use plurals and past tense; Verbs begin to emeerge  ls correctly 


Able to explain experiences 

25-36 MONTHS
Smiling Baby



Understands more than is able to express


Says 800-1500 or more words; speech is 80% intelligible to stran

Understands 1200-2000 words; Uses 4-5 words in sentences


Identifies animals and colors; enjoys pretend play schemes


Imitates many words, phrases, sounds


Uses pronouns (him, her, she, they); understands contrasts; uses at least four prepositions

Tells two events in chronological order


Engages in meaning and long conversation

Little Girl


Can repeat sentences as long as 9 words


All speech should be intelligible, but some articulation errors may be present


Knows opposites


Can follow 3-step commands without help


Understands simple time concepts


Uses adjectives and adverbs in conversations


Talks extensively during play

Able to define common words

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