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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Normal Speech and Language Growth: Ages 3-4 years

Published February 12, 2013 10:30 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling
This is week 6 of my 8 week series highlighting what typical speech and language development looks like in young children. This week's post will focus on the growth that happens between ages 3 and 4. During this year, young children really leave the baby and toddler time behind. Many are entering preschool and are ready to become a "big kid". Their play skills expand and their imaginations explode!

The Babycenter.com website shares the following information about what typical speech and language skills look and sound like with a child who is 3+ years of age:

Thanks to his improved diction and amazing grasp of grammar, you should be able to understand more than three-fourths of what he's saying now. He uses longer sentences (three or more words) and a growing vocabulary (300 to 1,000 words - too many for you to count) to make himself understood.

Your budding conversationalist loves to talk and sing. Lengthy verbal turn-taking is a hallmark of this age. He'll be able to answer simple questions and also ask questions of his own. Sometime he cares less about the answer than keeping the conversation going. He'll begin to describe what he's seeing or doing and is starting to use words to reason things out. You'll notice him using more adjectives (the big red car) and correct verb tenses, adding "s" and "ing" when necessary. He may still have trouble producing some sounds, especially r, l, s, and th.

All very true. I see many of these characteristics now with my older daughter and the classmates in her pre-school classroom. Their pretend play skills are blossoming as they dress-up in princess and super hero costumes. Chatter is constant throughout the day as they act out their favorite cartoon characters and make more and more connections between classroom concepts and the world around them.     

For more information regarding this year of speech and language development, visit ASHA's website (insert link)  under "How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?" and click on the "three to four year" old year of development. The following 4 points are highlighted as hallmarks of "talking" during that year:

■Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes.

 ■People outside of the family usually understand child's speech.

 ■Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.

 ■Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.

 

Join me next Tuesday for week 7!

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About this Blog


    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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