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18 Month Speech and Language Checklist

Cognitive Skills

  • Uses simple conventional objects in an appropriate manner, e.g., hits pegs with wooden hammer
  • Imitates adult activities
  • Plays simple games
  • Points to objects in pictures

Semantic Skills

  • Says ten names for common objects, actions and familiar people, e.g., mommy, doggie, ball, cookie, etc.
  • Asks for names of things
  • Shakes head yes/no to some questions
  • Points to major body parts when asked
  • Uses words more often than gestures to communicate
  • Produces animal sounds
  • Refers to self by name
  • Says “no”

Phonetic Skills

  • Jargons while looking at pictures in a book
  • Tries to imitate what you say
  • Uses vowel sounds accurately
  • Uses at least /m/, /p/, /n/, /w/, /th/, /t/ and /d/ in his/her speech, duplicates the syllable, e.g. [nana] for banana, [wawa] for water, [ba] for ball
  • Increases vocalizing as activity level increases

Syntactic Skills

  • Follows directions for simple actions, e.g., “jump down”
  • Uses two word combinations such as “more milk,” “big boy,” “daddy go”
  • Tries to “tell” experiences using jargon combined with some real words

If your child is not showing the above speech, language, and related skills, a consultation is recommended with a licensed speech and language pathologist who can provide you with suggestions which may prevent a communication problem from developing, determine if a screening test or in-depth diagnostic testing is needed at this time, and/or provide you with possible funding sources if treatment is needed.