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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