Speech and Language Early Intervention


Teacher reading a book to a student

Hudsonville Public Schools offers students who qualify direct speech therapy services based on individual student needs. The program also provides evaluations, home visits, and parent education for children.

Ages: 3 – 5 yrs

Helpful Hints on Speech and Language Development of 2-3 Year Olds

What should my child’s talking sound like?

  • Says “hi” and “bye” in response to adults
  • Imitates single words
  • Asks “what’s that?”
  • Says “no” to reject
  • Says consonant vowel (at) and consonant vowel consonant combinations (hat)
  • Beginning to consistently say /p, b, n, m, t, d, h, w/ but may continue to omit final consonant sounds, substitute sounds, or reduce blends (“poon” for spoon)
  • Combines 2 words or more
  • Names objects in your everyday life

What should my child’s comprehension be like?

  • Identifies 5-10 body parts and clothing items
  • Understands spatial concepts (in, off, out, of, under) and verbs (eating, sleeping)
  • Understands “what’s that” and “where” questions within the immediate environment
  • Follows simple commands
  • Understands “yes/no” questions
  • Identifies an object by its function (point to what you wear)
  • Matches 4 colors
  • Understands simple descriptives (wet, cold)

Helpful Hints on Speech and Language Development of 4 Year Olds

What should my child’s talking sound like?

  • Combines at least 4 words in a sentence
  • Intelligible speech with some developmental sound errors remaining
  • Uses more complex vocabulary including: would/could, if/so/because
  • Uses a variety of verb forms: present, past (regular and irregular), future

What should my child’s comprehension be like?

  • Understands qualitative concepts (long, short, tall)
  • Identifies simple shapes and follows directions with location concepts (front/back, beside)
  • Understands “wh” questions (who, what, when, where, why)
  • Understands function questions (What do we do with?)
  • Sorts objects into categories and understands time concepts (day/night)
  • Compares objects based on qualitative concepts (longest, pointed, thin)
  • Understands and uses irregular plurals (sheep)

Helpful Hints on Speech and Language Development of 5 Year Olds

What should my child’s talking sound like?

  • Mastery of speech sounds is typical with the exception of: th, ch, sh, r, s, z, j
  • Formulates meaningful words and sentences and states similarities and differences between objects
  • Uses all pronouns (I, she, him) and provides personal data upon request (full name, age)
  • States location concepts: through, away, over
  • Asks many “why”, “what”, and “how” questions to gain information

What should my child’s comprehension be like?

  • Understands complex quantity concepts (half/whole, some/may, more/less)
  • Understands temporal concepts (first, second, last)
  • Understands time concepts (today, yesterday, tomorrow)
  • Understands opposite concepts and understands “what happens if…” questions
  • Understands comparatives and superlatives (heavy, heavier, heaviest)
  • Indicates complex body parts (wrist, forehead)
  • Understands passive voice (The boy was chased by the girl.)
  • Identifies what objects do not belong in a category

Speech Sound Development Profile

Speech Sound Development Profile

This is an example of a developmental chart which displays when a child acquires certain speech sounds. Individual differences may occur:

Early Eight

  • Sounds acquired around 3 years of age:  p, b, m, n, w, h, d, y

Middle Eight

  • Sounds acquired around 3-4 years of age:  t, k, g, ng, f, v, ch, j

Late Eight

  • Sounds acquired between 5 1/2 - 8 years of age: sh, th, s, z, l. r, zh

(Shriberg, 1993 and Lof, 2004 suggest a general progression in speech sound development.)

Please contact Joan Van Fossan, 616-797-0842, extension 19611 for more information.

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