Updated: Apr 6
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For the longest time, I've been meaning to print a bunch of milestones resources, sort them by speech-language skill area, and organize them in a binder (#unrealisticgoals). Since that hasn't happened yet (I blame 2020 and the shortage of HP printer ink), I decided to put them all together in one blog post.
Note: the vast majority of these resources were originally compiled in the SLPs for Evidence Based Practice Facebook group by Tatyana Elleseff, group admin, under the Giant Milestones post, which can be found here. Thank you, Tatyana!! I have found myself returning to the group page and searching for the milestones post more times than I can count, so I thought having them all together on one page with downloadable PDFs might be helpful to other SLPs who have been doing that repeat search too.
If there is anything I'm missing that you think should be included, please feel reach to reach out using the contact form at the bottom of my site or DM me on Instagram (@spiffyspeech).
Milestones for Multiple Speech-Language Skill Areas
LinguiSystems Guide to Communication Milestones, 2012 Edition
The PDF below includes milestones for speech-sound acquisition, prelinguistic speech development, phoneme development, phonological patterns, speech intelligibility expectations, pronouns, morphology, MLU, pragmatics, literacy, phonological awareness, concepts, vocabulary, answering questions, asking questions, and listening.
Speech and Language Development Chart by Pro-Ed, 1993
The PDF below provides developmental milestones for phonology, semantics, play, syntax-morphology, and pragmatics for children aged 0-3 months through 6-7 years
Early Language Development from Infancy Through Preschool (Owens 8th edition, 2011)
The PDF below includes milestones for infants through preschool age children on infant emotions, development of intentionality, social and communication development, development of joint reference, comprehension and production of first words, cognition/play/language, communicative intentions, grammatical structures, MLU, and more!
Preschool and School Age Language Development
This PDF includes milestones for preschool age through school age children on pragmatic/semantic development, story grammar components, structural properties of narratives, development of embedded and conjoined clauses, development of language form, and development of metalinguistic skills/awareness.
Typical Developmental Milestones of 15 Year Old Adolescents from Later Language Development (Nippold, 2016)
This PDF includes the chart at left which describes expections for lexicon, figurative language, syntax, discourse and pragmatics, and literacy in 15-year-olds.
Milestones for Specific Language Concepts/Structures
Development of Pronouns
Development of Morphemes (Brown's stages)
Semantic Development Milestones from PLD Literacy and Learning
This is a one page PDF that lists semantic skills that children should be demonstrating at ages 3 through 6.
Order of Acquisition of Adjectives from Wiig and Semel
Development of Basic Concepts Ages 3-6 from Boehm, A. 2013 and Bracken, B. 2006
Concept Development Milestones from Linguisystems, 2001
Download this one page PDF that lists milestones for basic concept development (for positional, time, equality, quantity, and comparison concepts) for ages 1-6.
Overview of Story Telling Development from PLD Literacy and Learning
This is a one page PDF that describes the stages of story telling development from ages 2 through 6+ years of age (with examples).
McLeod 2009 Children's Speech Acquisition
This PDF includes a compilation of data on typical speech development of English speaking children. For each one-year age range (0-1, 1-2, 2-3, etc. up through 6+ years) it provides information on the oral mechanism, consonants, vowels, phonological processes, intelligibility, metalinguistic skills, and more.
McLeod & Crowe 2018 Compilation of Speech Acquisition Studies
These articulation norms aren't really new since they're the result of compiling data from 15 prior studies; however, you might remember when this treehouse picture first surfaced and broke the SLP internet. Click here for a larger version of the picture at left, click here for the full article (free) in the American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, and click here for a great explanation of what these "new" norms mean for SLPs by The Informed SLP!
Normative Milestones in the Development of Vowel Perception and Production
This chart was is from the literature review, What Acoustic Studies Tell Us About Vowels in Developing and Disordered Speech by Kent and Rountrey, 2020. The full PDF is free on ASHAWire if you have an ASHA membership. In addition to vowel milestones through 11-15 years, this article includes a wealth of information on vowel development/disorders including acoustic analysis.
Feeding & Developmental Milestones
Developmental Stages in Infant and Toddler Feeding by the Infant and Toddler Forum
This colorful, 12 page PDF includes factsheets with milestones for skills related to 1) feeding and eating, 2) specific feeding skills, 3) taste, texture and food preferences, and 4) appetite regulation
Developmental Milestones & Feeding Skills Birth to 36 Months from "Swallowing and feeding in infants and young children" by Joan C. Arvedson, 2006
Pre-Feeding Skills: A Comprehensive Resource for Mealtime Development by Suzanne Evans Morris, 2000
This textbook is only available for purchase or for rent but covers research-based information about normal feeding development, factors that influence feeding, assessment and treatment.
Pragmatics and Executive Function Milestones
Hierarchy of Social/Pragmatic Skills as Related to the Development of Executive Function by Kimberly Peters, PhD.
This 13 page PDF describes executive function skills from ages 0-3 months through 15-18 years along with treatment ideas/strategies for each developmental level.
Stages of Development of Theory of Mind (ToM) in Children: Birth-10 Years of Age by Westby & Robinson, 2014
This PDF includes 3 pages describing the development of cognitive theory of mind and affective theory of mind in children birth-6 months through 8-10 years of age.
A Developmental Perspective on Executive Function from Best, J.R. & Miller, P.H. 2010
The PDF below includes the one page chart pictured at left detailing executive function skills (inhibition, working memory, and shifting). View the full journal article here.
Development of Figurative Language - Excerpt from Figurative Language: Assessment Strategies and Implications for Intervention by Bernstein, D.K., 1987
"The developmental studies of metaphoric comprehension reveal that metaphoric ability is present even in preschoolers and that metaphoric language comprehension increases with age... Perceptual metaphors are comprehended more easily than psychological ones and that predicative metaphors (being cognitively simpler) are more easily understood than proportional ones... Research to date reveals that the literal meaning of idioms is understood before its nonliteral meaning. Furthermore, it appears that idioms are processed as ‘chunks’ and that their comprehension is aided by a variety of linguistic and paralinguistic cues...Comprehension of idioms begins to develop in the early school years and continues to grow through adolescence...Finally, children’s ability to understand idioms seems to depend on four factors: the frequency of their exposure to idioms: the relevance of idioms to children’s experiences; the linguistic context in which idioms are set; and the mode or task used to test idioms...Developmental studies of proverb comprehension seem to indicate that the understanding of proverbs emerges at about age 7 and that the comprehension of proverbs steadily improves through childhood and adolescence. It also appears that proverbs are more difficult to understand than metaphors and idioms...This may be due to the fact that some proverbs contain uncommon syntax. "
Development of Humor - adapted from Understanding and Promoting the Development of Children’s Humor by Paul E. McGhee
Click here for the five page PDF of Head, Shoulders, Knees and... Peanut Butter: What Makes Young Children Laugh? by Paul E. McGhee. This article describes the development of children's humor from 6 months through 15 months.
Phonological Awareness, Reading, and Writing Milestones
Development of Phonological Skills
Moates and Tolman (2009)
The chart at left includes the ages at which 80-90% of typically-developing students achieve a variety of phonological awareness skills.
Click below to download the PDF version:
Stages of Literacy Development by The Literacy Bug
This excellent web post covers Chall's (1996) six stages of reading development (at left) with detailed explanations. It also includes a variety of downloadable charts/graphics.
Encoding, Decoding, and Understanding (Print) Language by The Literacy Bug
Similar to the above, this (very dense) web post is loaded with information and charts/graphics such as the one at left, which covers stages of spelling development from birth to 13+ years of age.
Phases of Writing Development of Children Ages 3-5+ by PLD Literacy and Learning
This two page PDF covers different types of writing (role play, experimental, early/phonetic, and conventional writing) along with ages when each is demonstrated. It also lists skills associated with each type of writing.
Curriculum-Based Norms in Oral Reading Fluency by Hasbrouk and Tindal, 2006
The chart below was taken from a technical report entitled, Oral Reading Fluency: 90 Years of Measurement.
The Development of Appropriate Pencil Grip by PLD Literacy and Learning
This four page PDF includes information on pencil grip stages from 12 months to 6 years of age along with graphics.
I hope that you find this helpful in your day-to-day practice! Make sure to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it later and follow me on Instagram (@spiffyspeech) if you'd like to be notified of future posts like this one as well as therapy ideas, freebies, and new resources!