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4 Year Speech and Language Checklist

Cognitive Skills

  • Comprehends opposite concepts
  • Identifies crosses, triangles, circles, and squares
  • Speaks of imaginary conditions with “pretend” or “I hope”
  • Stays with one activity for 11-12 minutes
  • Helps plan activities
  • Names primary colors on request
  • Has metalinguistic awareness: is able to think about and comment on what he (and others) says

Pragmatic Skills

  • Understands the conventions of simple conversations e.g., turn taking, topic maintenance
  • Rarely repeats or hesitates
  • Speaks without avoidance or embarrassment
  • Modifies speech to age of listener
  • Talks on the telephone

Semantic Skills

  • Understands time concepts such as “early in the morning,” “next month,” “next year,” “noontime”
  • Knows concepts related to spatial arrangements, e.g., “in front of,” “behind,” “far,” and “near”
  • Uses many more words than you can count (nearly 1500)

Phonetic Skills

  • Expresses himself using speech which is understood by all
  • /s/, /z/, /sh/, /j/ may be distorted
  • [w] may be used for /r/

Syntactic Skills

  • Comprehends complex sentences
  • Delivers a message
  • Follows three step commands even though objects are not present
  • Uses five and six word sentences
  • Asks “How,” “Where,” “When” and “Why” questions
  • Answers “What if” questions
  • Uses compound sentences combined by “and,” “but,” “or,” “so,” and “because,”e.g., “I’m four now but John is only three.”
  • Uses past and present progressive tenses accurately e.g., “I ate,” “I am going…”

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.