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  • Victoria King Erb

Is Your Child Meeting Their Speech and Language Milestones? What You Need to Know: 7-9 months

What are the speech and language milestones for a child ages 7 to 9 months old? Below we will review the following: key vocabulary terms when discussing speech and language milestones, milestones expected in the age ranges 7 - 9 months, and examples or clarification for each milestone.



Key Terms:

Speech & Language Milestones: the speech, language, and hearing skills that most children (90%) will demonstrate by identified ages

Speech: how we say sounds and words - articulation, fluency, or voice

Language: the words we use and how we use them to share ideas and get what we want.

  • Receptive Language: the ability to understand/comprehend language (following directions, vocabulary, sentence comprehension)

  • Expressive Language: the ability to express self using language - by gestures, sign language, verbally, or a communication device (vocabulary, grammar)

  • Pragmatic Language: the use of appropriate communication in social situations


Speech and Language Milestones: 7-9 months old:

Understanding (Receptive Language):

  • Looks at you when you call their name. During this age, your child should begin to recognize their own name or nicknames and respond by turning toward you to look and listen.

  • Stops for a moment when you say, “No.” This is a very important word to learn and eventually use. When your child is, for example, putting something in their mouth that they shouldn't you can work on saying "no" while shaking your head. At this stage, they may look up and stop what they are doing, but may continue with what they were doing.

  • Recognizes the names of some people and objects. When naming family members, loved ones, pets, or other familiar objects, your child will begin to understand what is being talked about and may turn toward that person or object.

Talking/Gestures (Expressive Language):

  • Pushes away unwanted objects. This can be toys or foods - when your child is no longer interested they may push things away or sometimes even throw them. This would be a good time to model "all done" verbally and using the "all done" sign language sign to help them transition to a new activity.

  • Raises arms to be picked up. Gestures are the beginning to expressive communication. When your child raises their arms to be picked up, this would be a perfect time to model the word "up" as you are about to pick them up.

  • Looks for loved ones when upset. Right before your child turns 7 months old, they begin to understand the concept of distance or simply that their loved ones can walk away and leave him or her behind. This may result in more crying, clinginess, and crankiness. Children find comfort in knowing that their loved ones are nearby. When this happens, just assure that you are close by saying "I see you" or "hi (name)".

  • Babbles long strings of sounds, like mamamama, upup, or babababa. When your child starts to babble, you can practice taking turns with words that they might be trying to say. For example, if they say "mamama" you can say "mommy's here" or "bababa" you can say "want bottle".


Check out our other parent resources and blogs about how to help enhance and grow your child's speech and language skills during these specific age ranges.


If you are concerned about your child's speech and language development - some of the next steps you can take include:

  • contacting your child's pediatrician (ask for a referral for a speech and language evaluation)

  • contacting your local regional center to see if your child could be assessed

  • contacting a local speech therapy private practice that specializes in early language development


Resources:

ASHA. (n.d.). Communication milestones: Birth to 1 year. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. https://www.asha.org/public/developmental-milestones/communication-milestones-birth-to-1-year/ 

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