Afasic - what to look out for in primary age children - problems with talking
Parents are often worried that their child is not saying many words or is not talking like other children their age. It helps to know how talking develops and even though children develop at different rates, there are key milestones to look out for.

What range of skills should you be expecting at this stage of your child’s development? You can check this below.

What to expect:

By 4 years old children usually:

  • Explain where they went and what happened
  • Can use longer sentences joined up words like ‘because’, ‘or’, ‘and’
  • Easily understood by others
  • Follow simple two part instructions
  • Answer simple questions about a story
  • Use talking to organise themselves and their play
  • Like make-believe play and dressing up

By 5 years old children usually:

  • Have conversations
  • Know a lot of words
  • Put longer sentences together
  • Adults can follow what they are saying
  • Can listen to instructions while doing something else
  • Beginning to get the idea of time
  • Talk to other children

Watch out for:

  • Needing to repeat things lots of times or you need to make instructions much simpler
  • Speech that is regularly difficult to understand
  • Regular frustration or giving up trying to tell an adult something
  • Regularly forgetting the words or missing out important pieces of information
  • A child of this age sounding muddled and disorganised in their talking
  • A child who doesn’t speak outside their home to certain people or in certain settings, and this continues for at least one month (2 months in a new setting)

If you are concerned that your child’s developing communication is not where it should be, please talk to your GP or speak to a speech and language therapist.

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