When should I refer my child to a Speech Pathologist?

Please find below typical communication developmental milestones. For further information please visit the Speech Pathology Australia website (click here). If your child shows skills below their age level, they may benefit from and an assessment with a speech pathologist. Children develop at different rates, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

At 12 months old, most children can:

  • Understand between 3-50 words (mostly names of familiar people and objects)
  • Communicate with adults (without words) to:
    • request things (pointing, grabbing)
    • refuse things
    • play games
  • Gesture and vocalise to gain an adult’s attention
  • Babble (make sounds to imitate adult speech)
  • Say their first word

At 18 months old, most children can:

  • Understand up to 50 words, including some two-word phrases
  • Use between 6-20 words (mostly familiar objects, people and actions) – note, it may not be easy to understand your child, but their speech should be growing more consistent and easier to understand.
  • Follow simple instructions (e.g. ‘drop the toy’)
  • Engage in pretend play (e.g. cooking on a toy stove)

At 2 years old, most children can:

  • Follow two-part instructions (e.g. ‘give me the book and the bear’)
  • Understand some location words like ‘in’ and ‘on’
  • Say some two-word phrases (e.g. ‘daddy there’)
  • Use their tone to ask questions (e.g. ‘dinner?’)
  • Use most vowels and several consonants including m, n, p, b, t, d, k, g

At 3 years old, most children can:

  • Follow more complex instructions
  • Answer ‘wh-’ questions, including ‘what’ and ‘where’
  • Sort objects into categories
  • Use four- or five-word sentences
  • Start to use some grammar, such as ‘-ed’
  • Be understood by their parent/carer 100% of the time

At 4 years old, most children can:

  • Answer simple questions about a story they have been told
  • Understand some numbers and count to five
  • Use joining words such as ‘and’ or ‘but’ to make their sentences longer
  • Describe recent events

At 5 years old, most children can:

  • Follow three-part instructions
  • Understand time-related words such as ‘before’ and ‘later’
  • Tell simple stories with a beginning, middle and end
  • Be understood by an unfamiliar listener 100% of the time (although they may still have trouble with ‘r’ and ‘th’ sounds).

Our Team Specialises in Communication

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All Ears

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    8:30am – 5pm
  • Saturday (Dulwich only)
    8:30am – 1pm

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Colonel Light Gardens

24 The Strand
Colonel Light Gardens 5041


63 Dulwich Avenue
Dulwich 5065


2 Ann Street
Salisbury 5108

Western Hospital

168 Cudmore Terrace
Henley Beach 5022

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COVID-19 Update

At All Ears & Speech our priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our team and valued clients. We understand the significant impact the Coronavirus is having on everyone and that this is one of the biggest challenges we have all faced. We are in this together and our thoughts and best wishes are with you and your families during this time.

Whilst our practice activities have slowed significantly, our team remains able to assist you with your hearing and speech healthcare. We have reduced our clinical hours, further strengthened our already exemplary hygiene practices and our Speech Pathologists are now primarily providing services online using TeleHealth. 

From the 1st April 2020, we have put the following additional safeguards in place to ensure everyone’s well-being and that our business can continue to look after you and your family.

  • Our administration team will work remotely during the day and attend clinic outside normal clinic hours. This is to minimise contact between clinicians, clients and our admin team. Should at any stage someone be exposed to Coronavirus our risk of transmitting the infection to others is significantly reduced. Kindly leave a message on our answering machine and rest assured we will return your call as soon as possible

  • For NEW CLIENTS – we are here to help and answer any questions you may have regarding your hearing, your child’s hearing or your child’s speech and language development. We can offer initial consults over the phone or via TeleHealth (videoconferencing) to assist. We can then determine whether we need to see you in person urgently or whether we can provide you with services via TeleHealth or other resources to help you in the interim. Again, please leave a message on our answering machine or email us on reception@allearsandspeech.com.au and we will get back to you asap.

  • For clients with URGENT REFERRALS from Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists or other medical practitioners we will see you should you pass our COVID19 questionnaire. As per government regulations we will not see anyone who has: 

    1. travelled interstate or overseas without self-isolating for 14 days

    2. anyone unwell (fever, sore throat, respiratory difficulties)

    3. anyone who has been in contact with someone who has travelled or who may have been exposed to COVID19

We will be offering complimentary online resources and short videos to improve children’s listening, learning, speech and language development during this time. 

For our adult clients we will be providing auditory training resources to make the most of your devices, and lots of information about hearing loss and the various technologies available. Our team are excited to be updating and sharing these resources with you. As always, any feedback, or suggestions on topics that you would like covered will be warmly received.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our clients for your emails, phone calls and supportive comments during this time. These have been so encouraging and brightened our day. Our clients will continue to remain our priority and we can not thank you enough for choosing us as your service provider. 

On behalf of the team at All Ears & Speech please stay safe and healthy.

Nicole Eglinton

Proud Director of the best team of Audiologists & Speech Pathologist in SA