What You Need to Know

Every child develops language and reading readiness skills in his or her own way. And every parent worries at one time or another about whether their child has a problem in development. Always talk with your child’s doctor about any questions or concerns, especially if your child is demonstrating one or more of the warning signs below.  Trust your instincts.  If there is a problem, it helps to address it early.

Warning Signs By Age

These lists tell you some important signs that your child may have a language development problem. Talk with your child's doctor right away if you have any of these concerns.

Stops making sounds or using words
Does not react to sound
Does not react to familiar faces, objects or pictures
Seems to be "in her own world"

Stops using words
Has trouble understanding simple spoken language
Does not say several words and short phrases
Seems to be "in his own world"

Does not speak in sentences
Does not have conversations
Does not show interest in reading and writing activities

Does not read and write her own name
Does not understand rhyming words
Does not point to and name several alphabet letters

Struggles with letter names and their sounds
Does not read a growing number of words
Struggles with phonics (sounding out simple words, like cat, mop, sun)
Dislikes and avoids reading and writing