Red Flags in Communication Development



6 months- does not laugh and squeal, does not look toward new sounds

9 months- has limited or no babbling, does not indicate when happy or upset

12 months- does not point to objects

15 months- has not used first word, does not use gestures such as waving or shaking head

18 months- does not use at least six to ten words consistently, does not hear well or discriminate between sounds

20 months- does not use at least six consonant sounds, does not follow simple directions

24 months- has a vocabulary of less than 50 words, has decreased interest in social interactions

36 months- strangers have difficulty understanding what the child is saying, does not use simple sentences


*90% of all children who are turning 2 use at least 50 words and combine those words into short phrases on their own. A child who is not using this many words falls into the bottom 10th percentile for expressive language development. The typically developing child, functioning at the 50th percentile, who is turning 2 both understands and produces 200-300 words on their own.


Other concerns:

Is a very picky eater (willing to eat only a small number of foods, gags on certain textures)

Has difficulty with transitions

Uses repetitive and/or perseverative behaviors

Shows no interest in communicating

Drools excessively

Stutters more consistently and for longer than six months


If your child or someone you know has exhibited any of these red flags in communication development you can contact your local Early Intervention program to request an evaluation and services.


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