Developmental Norms of the 18-month old toddler

Speech and Language of the 18-Month-Old

At age 18 months, your child….

Uses 40 different words consistently.

Recognizes pictures of familiar people and objects.

Starts to combine 2 words, such as “all done” and “Daddy bye-bye.”

Uses words to make wants and needs known, such as “more” and “up.”

Imitates words and sounds more precisely.

Points and gestures to call attention to an event or to show wants and needs.

Points to his or her own toes, eyes, and nose.

Brings familiar object from another room when asked.

Turns pages of a book a few at a time.

Follows simple commands.

Makes a tower of 3-4 cubes.

Knows and says the names of 5 things.

Hums and may sing simple tunes

Mixes real words with jargon; on occasion develops a play routine.

Practices words and word combinations.

You can stimulate your 18-month-old child’s speech if you…

Imitate everything your child says and does.

Play music to your child such as: “Old McDonald” and The Wheels on the Bus.”

Point and label objects you see and talk about what you’re doing all day.

Look at your child when he or she talks to you.

While you’re playing with your child, make environmental sounds such as “choo-choo”, “beep-beep”, honk-honk.

Describe what your child is doing, feeling, and hearing in short, 2-word phrases.

Offer two choices to your child and ask him or her to say “I want + object.”

Hold a toy under your chin and label the object, then ask him or her to repeat.

Engage in pretend play and pair your actions with sounds and words: “pour juice, feed baby, stir soup, daddy jump, eat apple.  

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Developmental Expectations of the 6-12 month-old

Speech and Language of the 6-to 12-month-Old

At 6 months of age, your child…

Makes lots of different, playful sounds (called babbling).

Laughs, gurgles, and coos with familiar people and reacts to loud and friendly voices.

Turns and looks at new sounds and babbles/cries for attention.

At 8 months of age, your child…

Responds to his or her name and shows interest of self in mirror.

Produces four or more different sounds and tries to imitate sounds and actions.

Uses syllables such as ba, da, ka and listens to own vocalizations and those of others.

Transfers objects from one hand to the other.

At 10 months of age, your child…

May say “mama” and “dada” and says a syllable or sequence of sounds repeatedly.

Shouts to attract attention and uses jargon (babbling that sounds like real speech).

Plays early speech routine games such as Peek-a-Boo.

At 12 months, your child…

Recognizes name and responds to name being called consistently.

Point to objects for you to get or name and follows simple instructions.

Sustains eye contact and attention for brief periods of time.

Says 2 to 3 words besides “mama” and “dada.”

Imitates familiar words and words overheard in the environment.

Recognizes words as symbols for objects (i.e., hears “car” and points to garage).

You can stimulate your infant’s speech and language if you…

Participate in “mommy and me” activities with other infants the same age.

Imitate and respond to your infant’s noises and actions.

Talk in one-two word phrases during your daily routine activities. Keep your speech simple.

Recite nursery rhymes, play simple music, and sing songs, particularly in the car.

Look at colorful books with your child every day.

Show interest in all the different sounds you hear (bird chirping, dog barking, doorbell).

Share eye contact as your child coos and babbles.

Teach your child the names of household items, familiar people, and common actions.

Play simple games such as Peek-a-Boo and Pat-a-Cake.

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Developmental Norms for a 12-17-Month-Old

Speech and Language of the 12-17-Month-Old

From 12 to 17 months of age, your child….

Recognizes his or her name.

Understands “no” and “stop.”

Understands simple instructions and gives a toy on request.

Points and gestures to call attention to an event or to show wants and needs.

Imitates familiar words and practices words.

Waves good-bye and plays Pat-a-Cake.

Uses “mama” and “dada” and several other words, usually nouns.

Likes to make the “sounds” of familiar animals and things.

Hears and discriminates among many sounds.

Shows a great deal of affection; makes noise and pats parents affectionately.  

Places a cube in a cup on command.

Scribbles imitatively with a crayon.

Attempts to communicate by mixing jargon with real words.

Vocalizes for enjoyment and laughs a great deal.

You can stimulate your 12-17-month-old child’s speech and language if you….

Look at colorful books with your baby, naming objects and actions and asking your child to point to objects.

Imitate all sounds and words your baby says.

Encourage imitation games such as Peek-a-Boo.

Recite nursery rhymes and sing songs to your baby.

Model short 2-3 word phrases with your baby.

Imitate your baby’s movements and vocalizations.

Reward and encourage early efforts at producing new words.

Act as if everything your baby says is meaningful even if you don’t understand it.

Talk to your baby about things you are doing together; describe bathing, dressing, eating, shopping, car riding, and so on, as you share these activities.

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How to Keep Your Child’s Voice Healthy

How to Keep Your Child’s Voice Healthy

A child who yells, screams, talks in a noisy environment, or does an excessive amount of crying, laughing, singing, cheering, coughing, throat clearing, or loud talking, may be risking the health of his or her voice.  These vocal abusive behaviors often cause hoarseness in children. Continual vocal abuse may lead to swelling and thickening of the vocal folds, which in turn may lead to vocal nodules (callous-like growths on the vocal folds). The child’s voice may become hoarse, breathy, or lower in pitch.  Hoarseness in children may also be due to medical conditions such as allergies, sinus infections, or colds. If your child is hoarse for more than 10 days but shows no other signs of allergies or upper respiratory infection, take your child to an ENT. Voice therapy may be necessary following any medical treatment.  Voice therapy is aimed at identifying the child’s vocal behaviors that contributed to the nodules, and then reducing or eliminating them. Vocal nodules can be prevented by practicing healthy voice habits.

To prevent voice problems, your child could…

Reduce the amount of talking, singing, coughing, or throat clearing, especially

during episodes of upper respiratory infection or allergies.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day and limit dairy products.

Turn down the volume on televisions, radios, and computer games.  

Stop yelling and screaming; use nonverbal methods to show excitement or get attention (i.e., clapping, walking upstairs/downstairs).

Move close to another person before talking and rest the voice throughout the day.

Avoid using the voice to make special effect noises when playing with toy vehicles.

As a parent, you could…

Tell your child you can only “hear” when he or she uses a quite “indoor” voice, without whispering, then respond only after he or she speaks in a quiet volume.

Be a good voice model for your child; use a calm, comfortable loudness level.

Encourage your child to drink plenty of water.

Set up a calm, quiet, restful “break” area (i.e., tent, closet) and encourage your child

to go there and calm down rather than yelling in the house.

Eliminate background noise so your child does not have to speak loudly to be heard.

Teach your child to find quieter ways to get someone’s attention (tapping on shoulder).

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Articulation / Speech Sound Disorders

How Do I Know if my Child May Have a Speech/Sound Disorder?

  • Your child cannot produce /p, b, m, n, h, w, t, d, k, g/ by 3-4 years of age.
  • Your child cannot correctly say /f, v, r, l, s/ by 5-6 years of age.
  • Your child isn’t 100% clear by 6.0 years of age or before entering Kindergarten.
  • Your child confuses /t/ and /d/ for /k/ and /g/ past 3.0 years of age.
  • Cannot produce /s/ and /l blends by 5.0 years of age (i.e., cool→school, boo→blue).
  • Cannot say /sh/, /ch/, /j/, /zh/ by 5.0 years of age.
  • Becomes very frustrated when others cannot understand him or her.
  • Child has a history of chronic ear infections or hearing loss.
  • Is unable to move his or her tongue in different positions with a model.
  • Your child has difficulty saying multi syllabic words by 5.0 years (spaghetti, gymnastics)

You can help your child’s speech sound production by…

  • When you’re in a store with your child, ask him or her to find as many products that include their target sound.  For example, if your child is working on /s/ blends, he can find and say: “strawberries, spices, string cheese, snacks, and spaghetti.”
  • Play iPad Apps with your child such as “Articulation Station.”
  • Buy a child’s magazine and cut out all the pictures that contain the target sound. Make a collage of all the pictures and practice saying the sound.
  • If your child is learning to read, highlight the target sound in your books at home.  Have your child read outloud. This visual prompt will remind them to produce the sound correctly while reading.
  • When you child is brushing her teeth, practice the sound in front of the mirror.
  • Once your child is aware of the correct production of a target sound, try saying a word incorrectly to see if your child corrects you.
  • Rather than saying comments such as: “What did you say?” or “Say that again” try repeating everything that you heard, omitting the word(s) that were unclear. (i.e., “It was who that came to the party?”)
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Self-Calming and Emotional Regulation Tools for Children of all Ages

Due to a multitude of factors, many parents are struggling putting their children to bed at a reasonable time.  Children may feel anxiety, worry, and stress when the lights go dim and the room is quiet.  Daily struggles and challenges may race through their minds and it can be very difficult for our little angels to fall asleep peacefully, easily, and quickly.   I hope that the following resources can provide your child with more peace and calm during the day and especially at night time.  Many Blessings

Utube Resources

“Hot air balloon ride:  A Guided meditation for kids for sleep and dreaming.”

“Children’s Bedtime Story-Billy & Zac the Cat’s Fairground Adventure Relaxation/Kid’s story.”

“Children’s Bedtime Story-Billy & Zac the Cat go on a Rocket Ship to Space, stories for kids.”

“Kids Meditation Bedtime Story-Billy & Zac the Cat’s go to Candy land.”

“Breath meditation for kids.  Mindfulness for kids.”

“Guided Meditation for Children/Your Secret Treehouse/Relaxation for Kids.”

“Dragon Story time. Meditation for kids & tots.  (Sleep or rest time outs).”

“Magic bubbles.  Guided relaxation for children.  Meditation for kids/guided meditation for anxiety and worry.”

“Guided meditation for children.  Enchanted forest.”

“Bedtime-Guided meditations for Children.”

“Lilly and her Magical Unicorn Dreams-Children’s Bedtime.”

“Stunning Aquarium & The Best Relax Music-2 hours.”

“Guided Meditation for Sleep…Floating Among the Stars.”

“Dreaming of being a Dolphin-Children’s Relaxing Bedtime Meditation.”

“The Fairy & Leprechaun Spoken word Guided Meditation for Children For Sleep & Relaxing.”

“Martin the Octopus-Children’s Bedtime Story/Meditation.”

“Welcome to Cloudtopia-Children’s Bedtime Story/Meditation.”

“It’s cool to Be Different-Children’s Bedtime Story/Meditation.”

“The Magical Enchanted Tree-Children’s guided Meditation.”

“Teddy Bear Land-Children’s Bedtime Meditation.”

“Pet Heaven-Children’s Bedtime Story/Meditation.”

iPad Apps 

“Stop, breathe, think” Promotes compassion. Ages 10+

“Five minute escapes for meditation and relaxation” Ages 10+

“Drift away” Ages 9+

“Dreamy kid meditation app just for kids.” Ages 8+

“Well beyond meditation.” Ages 7+

“Breathing bubbles.” Relieving anxiety and worry.  Ages 5+

“Settle your glitter.”  An emotional regulation tool Ages 4+

“Breathe, think, do Sesame Street” Ages 3+

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Resources and Referrals for Families

The following resources and referrals are highly recommended by

Coastal Speech Therapy Inc.



Dr. Yu Pediatrician Phone: 949-548-7777 Address: 320 Superior Ave. Ste. 220 Newport Beach, CA 92663

Dr. Iravani Phone: 949-515-7337 Address: 1640 Newport Blvd. Suite 360 Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Ear Nose and Throat Doctor:

Head and Neck Associates of Orange County: Dr. Supance, MD., F.A.A.P., F.AC.S Pediatric Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Phone: 949-364-4361 Address: 16300 Sand Canyon Ave., Suite 201 Irvine, CA 92618


Hear Now Abramson Audiology:  Maria K. Abramson, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA                Phone: 949-495-3327 Address: 28985 Golden Lantern B-105 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Occupational Therapy:

Irvine Therapy Services, Inc.  Phone: 949-252-9946 Address: 16631 Noyes Avenue Irvine, CA 92606

Learning in Motion, Tara Mackenzie Phone: 214-288-4503 Email:

SKY Pediatric TherapyPhone 949-630-8290 1929 Address: Main Street Suite 103 Irvine, CA, 92614

Neuro-Developmental Testing:

Andrew McIntosh, M.D. Child Neurology Phone: 949-249-3780  Address: 30131 Town Center Drive, Suite 195 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 Website:

The Center for Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorders Dr. Snyder,                       Phone: 949-267-0400 Address: 2500 Red Hill Ave. Suite 100 Santa Ana, CA 92705 Website:

Dr. Recor, Ph.D. Clinical and Forensic Psychologist Phone: 949-720-0167 Address: 101 Pacifica Suite 220 Irvine, CA 92618

Child Psychology:

Dr. Sarah L. Giokaris Licensed Psychologist Phone: 562-412-4191 Address: 1400 Quail, Ste. 265 Newport Beach, CA 92660

Cognitive Therapy Orange County  Lisa K. Phillips, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Phone: 949-675-0545 Address: 151 Kalmus Drive, Suite B220 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Website:

Dr. Michelle Molina Ph.D. Phone: 949-253-4144 Address: 2102 Business Center Drive Suite 130 Irvine, CA 92612

Child Psychiatry:

Amada Isabel Almase, MD, Diplomate in Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychiatry:  Phone: 949-892-7242 Address: 1400 Bristol Street North, Suite 250 Newport Beach, CA 92660

Dr. Rose Pitt MD. Child Psychiatrist Phone:  714-547-8609  Address: 14181 Yorba St. Tustin, CA 92780

Dr. Ester Park D.O., Phone: 949-258-3741 Address:  23141 Molton Pkwy. Suite 213 Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Vision Therapy:

Julie Berg Ryan, O.D., M.S.Ed Pediatric vision therapy Phone: 949-733-1400 Address: 2950 Barranca Pkwy. Suite 310 Irvine, CA 92604

ABA Therapy:

In STEPPS: Erin McNerney Ph.D Phone: 949-474-1493 Address: 18008 Sky Park Circle Suite 110 Irvine, CA 92614

Morning Star ABA Therapy: Amanda Dissmore, M.A., BCBA Phone: 714-552-1317 Website:

Creative Behavior Interventions: Dr. Denise Eckman Psy.D., BCBA-D Phone: 949-328-7688 Address: 3002 Dow Avenue #122 Tustin, CA 92780

Shine Learning Alliance: Kim Robertson Phone: 949-466-4324  Website:

Yoga and Play Gym for Special Needs:

We Rock the Spectrum Phone: 714-824-1238 Address: 23572 Moulton Pkwy Suite 102 Laguna Hills, CA Website:


Paul Eisenberg Educational Advocate Phone: 714-235-3319 Address: 52 Brisa Fresca, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Barbara Frank Special Education Consultant Phone: 909-226-2289 Website:

Educational Therapists: 

Franklin Educational Services: Phone: 949-381-7488 Address: 1151 Dove St Suite 140 Newport Beach, CA 92660  Website:

Linda Larson: Educational Therapist Phone: 949-786-6359 Address: 4601 Sierra Tree lane Irvine, CA 92612

Catherine Messina: Educational Therapist Phone: 949-735-6766 Email:

Active 8 Learning Center: Anna Paton Phone: 949-251-0605 Address: 1000 Bristol Street Suite 18 Newport Beach, CA 92660

Cerebral Palsy:

Cerebral Palsy Guide Jenna Gehrdes Community Outreach:  Phone: 1-855-329-1008 Address: 3208 E. Colonial Dr. #241  Orlando, FL 32803

Cerebral Palsy Group, Alison Sanchez, Advocacy Director: Address:  400 Putnam Pike Suite J #242 Smithfield RI 02917

Feeding Therapy:

United Cerebral Palsy Foundation Phone: 949-333-6400 Address:  980 Roosevelt Ste 100 Irvine 92620


Marissa Kent Nutrition MS, RDN, CDE Phone: 949-378-1047 Address: 26461 Crown Valley Pkwy, Suite 100 Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Websites (866) 479-9025

Communicating with an Autistic Child: A Parent’s Guide with an autistic child (Helping children with sensory Processing Issues)

Autism Resources for Families

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents

Reduce the Noise: Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload Enjoy Shopping

CDC Autism Links and Resources

Operation Autism for Military Families

Moving with Special Needs Kids

Academic Accommodation Resources

Home Modifications for Kids with Sensory Concerns

Temple Grandin’s Teaching Tips

Estate Planning for Parents of Kids with Autism

Parent Education Books


Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes you Knew: Author: Ellen Notbohm

An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Author: Sally J. Rogers, PhD, Geraldine Dawson, PhD, Laurie A. Vismara, PhD

The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Autism: Author: Marci Lebowitz, OT

Parenting with Presence: Author: Susan Stiffelman, MFT

The Whole Brained Child:  Author: Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education: Author: Amanda Morin

Sensory Processing Disorders:

The Highly Sensitive Child:  Author: Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

The Out of Sync Child:  Author: Carol Stock Kranowitz

The Out of Sync Child Has Fun:  Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder: Author: Carol Stock Kranowitz

Zones of Regulation:  Author: Leah M. Kuypers

Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders: Author: Whitney, Ph.D., OTR/L and Varleisha D. Gibbs, OTD, OTR/L

Executive Functioning Disorder:

The Impulsive, Disorganized Child: Author: James W. Forgan and Mary Anne Richey

The Highly Explosive Child:  Author: Ross Green

The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Author: Carolyn Dalgliesh

Children with Anxiety:

The Anxiety Cure for Kids: Author: Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, M.S.W., Robert L. DuPont, M.D., Caroline M. DuPont, M.D.

Helping Your Anxious Child: Author: Ronald M. Rapee, PH.D.

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Overcoming Childhood Anxiety: Author: Sherianna Boyle, MED, CAGS

Behavioral Problems:

The Defiant Child: A Parent’s Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Author: Dr. Douglas A. Riley

Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child: Author: Robert J. MacKenzie, Ed.D.

The Explosive Child: Author: Ross W. Green Ph.D.

Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s all your fault: Nip the attitude in the Bud-From Toddler to Tween: Author: Elaine Rose Glickman

Children’s Books

Anxiety and Worry:

What to do when you worry too much: A kid’s guide to overcoming anxiety                Author: Dawn Huebner

What to do when you grumble too much: A kid’s guide to overcoming negativity Author: Dawn Huebner

What to do When Bad Habits Take Hold: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Nail biting and more Author: Dawn Huebner

Stress can Really Get on Your Nerves: Authors: Elizabeth Verdick and Trevor Romain

What if…? Commonsense strategies for kids on worries, upsets, and scares                 Author: Sally Mumford

What to do when You’re Scared & Worried: A Guide for Kids: Author: James J. Crist

Be the Boss of Your Stress: Authors: Timothy Culbert, Rebecca Kajander

Get Organized without Losing it: Author: Janet S.


What to do when your Temper Flares: A kids Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger Author: Dawn Huebner

How to Take the Grrr Out of Anger: Author: Marjorie Lisovskis

Survival Guide to Kids with Behavior Challenges: Author: Tom McIntyre PhD.


Speak up and Get Along! Author: Scott Cooper

Flexi Lexi Learns to be Flexible Author:  Molly B. Stuckey MA CCC SLP

FL #1This educational book is designed to teach children how to become more aware of their own thoughts, behavior, and language to improve their flexibility, cooperation, and emotional regulation.

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The Positive Effects of Therapy Dogs Utilized in Speech and Language Therapy


We are extremely excited and proud to announce that Coastal Speech Therapy now offers a trained therapy dog utilized during speech and language therapy sessions.  For years, therapy dogs have been utilized to reduce a child’s separation anxiety, improve rapport and trust with a therapist, and assist therapists in improving a child’s spontaneous, functional language. IMG_0546[1]IMG_0504[1] With the parent’s permission, we are now offering Buddy, our trained and certified Golden Retriever therapy dog to assist our therapists in providing the highest quality of speech and language therapy possible.



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Facilitating Flexible, Cooperative Language

Flexible LanguageIMG_3983[1]

Can we trade?

I changed my mind.

Ok, maybe next time.

Whatever, no big deal.

That’s a great idea!

Let’s compromise

Let’s work together

We did it together!

Do you mind if we…

Let’s try it again

First this…then that…

Let’s take turns

How about we try it this way?

This would be a good time to show flexibility.

First we’ll try it your way, and then we’ll try it my way.

It’s more fun to play together!

Tell me when you’re ready for more.



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Sensory Red Flags

When to refer to an Occupational Therapist

  • Poor Eye ContactDSCF0087
  • Difficulty Communicating
  • Picky Eater and/or chews on everything.
  • Breaks toys and crayons easily.
  • Poor fine motor skills.
  • Poor body awareness, frequently bumping into people and objects.
  • Clumsy, trips and falls easily, underdeveloped motor skills.
  • Hyper tonic; appears stiff and inflexible.
  • Avoids swings and playground activities.
  • Shows fear when feet are off the ground or head is tipped backward (bathing)
  • Walks on tip toes; toe walker
  • Jumps in place and is always moving.
  • Seems as if driven by a motor.
  • Unable to remain seated during structured activities (i.e., dinner time).
  • Very sensitive and hyper-aware of environment.
  • Seeks out excessive movement, touch, and hugs.
  • Difficulty with personal space boundaries (i.e., in people’s faces)
  • Overly sensitive to loud sounds such as vacuums and blenders.
  • Dislikes bathing, grooming, self-care, and/or haircuts.
  • Finds it hard to follow instructions, especially with multiple steps.
  • Needs more practice than other children to learn a new skill.
  • Difficulty listening, focusing, or concentrating during non-preferred tasks.
  • Becomes hyper focused on technology.


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