Early Intervention

Early intervention helps young children (birth to 3 years) who are not learning, playing, growing, talking, or walking like other children their age. Crossroads Speech Therapy provides speech and occupational therapy by highly trained therapists who are experts in the field and credentialed by Early Intervention of Illinois. Children from birth to three years of age who are experiencing speech, language, walking, crawling, coordination, and motor delays may benefit from early intervention services. We are big believers in early intervention and getting help early. The earlier one receives help for challenges the better. Children who are late talkers, who struggle with tummy time, are late crawlers, and late walkers could benefit from at least an evaluation. If you are questioning if you child could benefit from these services, please reach out. We would love to assist you.

Speech and language Milestones-
Birth to 1 Years of Age

(90% of children can do at these ages)

Hearing and Understanding

Talking

Birth-3 Months

  • Startles at loud sounds.
  • Quiets or smiles when you talk.
  • Seems to recognize your voice. Quiets if crying.

Birth–3 Months

  • Makes cooing sounds.
  • Cries change for different needs.
  • Smiles at people.

4–6 Months

  • Moves her eyes in the direction of sounds.
  • Responds to changes in your tone of voice.
  • Notices toys that make sounds.
  • Pays attention to music.

4–6 Months

  • Coos and babbles when playing alone or with you. 
  • Makes speech-like babbling sounds, like paba, and mi.
  • Giggles and laughs.
  • Makes sounds when happy or upset.

7 Months–1 Year

  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds.
  • Looks when you point.
  • Turns when you call her name.
  • Understands words for common items and people—words like cuptruckjuice, and daddy.
  • Starts to respond to simple words and phrases, like “No,” “Come here,” and “Want more?”
  • Plays games with you, like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
  • Listens to songs and stories for a short time.

7 Months–1 Year

  • Babbles long strings of sounds, like mimi upup babababa.
  • Uses sounds and gestures to get and keep attention.
  • Points to objects and shows them to others.
  • Uses gestures like waving bye, reaching for “up,” and shaking his head no.
  • Imitates different speech sounds.

Says 1 or 2 words, like hidogdadamama, or uh-oh. This will happen around his first birthday, but sounds may not be clear.

What can I do to help?

  • Ensure there are no problems with your child’s hearing. See if she turns to noises or looks at you when you talk. Pay attention to ear infections and other ear problems. See your doctor if you have concerns about ear infections and/or hearing.
  • Respond to your child. Look at your child when they makes noises. Talk to them. Imitate the sounds they makes and engage in vocal play.
  • Sing to them face to face.
  • Read to them face to face.
  • Teach your baby to imitate gestures, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye. When your baby gestures they are communicating and engaging in turn taking.
  • Narrate your activities. Talk out loud about what you are doing, seeing, and hearing. This gives your child a great model for language.
  • Talk out loud about what you think your child is doing, thinking, and feeling.
  • Teach animal sounds, like “A cat says ‘meow.’”
  • Read to your child every day.
  • Introduce new toys to them (toys that do not require batteries are best)

Speech and language Milestones-
12-months to 24 months of age

(90% of children can do at these ages)

Hearing and Understanding

Talking

  • Points to a few body parts when you ask.
  • Follows 1-part directions, like “Roll the ball” or “Kiss the baby.”
  • Responds to simple questions, like “Who’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?”
  • Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes.
  • Points to pictures in a book when you name them.
  • Uses a lot of new words.
  • Uses pbmh, and w in words.
  • Starts to name pictures in books.
  • Asks questions, like “What’s that?”, “Who’s that?”, and “Where’s kitty?” 
  • Puts 2 words together, like “more apple,” “no bed,” and “mommy book.”
  • At 15 months of age children produce at least 10 words consistently.
  • At 18 months of age children produce at least 50 words consistently.
  • At 24 months of age children produce 200-300 words consistently.

What can I do to help?

    • Talk to your child out loud as you do things and go places. Talk about what you are seeing, feeling and hearing.
    • Use short words and sentences that your child can imitate. Use correct grammar.
    • Talk about sounds around you. Listen to the fire truck, and say “eee-uuu-eee-uuu.” Make animal and vehicle sounds, like “moo” and “vroom!”
    • Play in the bath. You are eye-level with your child. Pop bubbles in the tub, talk about body parts as you wash them, and play with the toys in the tub.
    • Add to words your child says. For example, if your child says says “ball,” you can say, “That is a big blue ball.”
    • Read to your child every day. Talk about the pictures on each page and talk about the story once you have finished reading it. It is OK to repeat the same books and be sure to read new books too.
    • Have your child point to pictures that you name.

Speech and language Milestones-
2-3 Years of Age

(90% of children can do at these ages)

Hearing and Understanding

Talking

  • Understands opposites, like go–stop, big–little, and up–down.
  • Follows 2-part directions, like “Get the spoon and put it on the table.”
  • Has a word for almost everything.
  • Talks about things that are not in the room.
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n in words.
  • Uses words like inon, and under.
  • Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.
  • People who know your child can understand him.
  • Asks “Why?”
  • Puts 3 words together to talk about things. May repeat some words and sounds.

What can I do to help?

    • Use short words and sentences. Speak clearly.
    • Repeat what your child says, and expand their sentences by adding to it. If she says, “Nice dog,” you can say, “Yes, that is a nice puppy dog. The dog is large and brown. It has a loud bark too. Can you hear the dog bark, wuf wuf?”
    • Letting your child know that what he says is important to you instills confidence in their talking abilities. Ask them to repeat things that you do not understand. For example, say, “I am listening to you, and what you have to say is important. Can you try and ask me again?”
    • Teach your child new words. Reading is a great way to do this. Reading books helps build expressive and receptive vocabulary.
    • If your child is already talking in sentences, talk about colors and shapes.
    • If your child is already talking in sentences, practice counting.
    • Name objects and talk about the picture on each page of a book. Use words that are similar, like biggigantichugecollosallarge. Use new words in sentences to help your child learn the meaning.
    • Look at family photos, and name the people. Talk about what they are doing in the picture.
    • Ask open-ended questions that require your child to make a choice instead of asking yes no questions. Open ended questions create more opportunities for communication. For example, instead of asking, “Do you want an apple?” ask, “Would you like an apple or a pear?” Be sure to wait expectantly for the answer, wait about 5 seconds and look at your child like they will answer you. Give them the time they need to process. If they do not answer, say what you think they may like. “I want apple.” If they do answer you, praise them for their good work . You can say, “Thank you for telling mommy what you want. I will get you an apple now.”
    • Sing songs, play finger games, and tell nursery rhymes. These songs and games teach your child about the rhythm and sounds of language.

For early intervention therapy and services, please contact us, we serve Chicago, the North Shore, and Northern and Western Suburbs.

Have questions? We are here to help.

Have questions?
We are here to help.