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The following checklist can be used to identify children at risk of language or learning problems.

  • Does your 6-month-old baby fail to respond vocally when speech is directed at him?

  • Does your toddler fail to understand simple instructions (eg Come to mum)

  • Does your child have trouble hearing you without looking at your face?

  • Does your child appear to ignore you?

  • Does your child speak too loudly?

  • Has your child had a history of ear infections?

  • Does his hearing ability fluctuate?

  • Has he had a history of upper respiratory tract infections or ear infections?

  • Your child may need a hearing assessment and assessment with a speech pathologist.


  • Does your child have difficulty understanding instructions?

  • Does your 2 year old understand at least 80 words and follow instructions such as “ Where are daddy’s shoes?

  • Does your 3 year old understand instructions with prepositions eg. Put the ball under the table.

  • Can your 3- 4 year old listen to a story?

  • Does your 4 year old have trouble recalling instructions (eg Close the door and put your shoes in the cupboard)

  • Does your child find it harder to listen if there is background noise?

  • Can your 4 year old join in group activities at preschool?

  • Does your preschool child have trouble remembering nursery rhymes?



  • Was the onset of language delayed (i.e. first words after 15 months of age)?

  • Is your 2 year old able to produce 2 to 3 word sentences eg. Mum eat apple.

  • Does your 3 year old use sentences such as “ I eating a cake”,

  • Is your 3 year old beginning to use grammar such as “ Daddy’s shirt.”, “Two hats.

  • Does your preschool child use gestures rather than words?

  • Does your 4-year-old use poor grammar or shorter sentences compared to other children his age (eg Hims got him’s car)?

  • Is your child’s vocabulary more limited than others his age?

  • Does your 4- 5 year old have trouble retelling a familiar story?

  • Does your 5 year old have difficulty with linguistic sequences such as counting to 10 or saying the days of the week?

  • Does you 5 year old use complete sentences with appropriate grammar and tense. Eg “ He went to school and took off his shoes.”

  • Did your child have difficulty with sucking, swallowing, chewing or dribbling as a baby?

  • Did he babble less than other babies of his age?

  • Does your child use gestures more than words?

  • Does your child have difficulty saying particular sounds? eg He says “tat” for “cat”

  • Do others have trouble understanding your  3 or 4 year old?

  • Is your child dysfluent and repeat or hesitate with words?

  • Does your child have an unusual vocal quality (i.e. hoarse, husky, breathy, nasal)

If you have concerns regarding your child it is important to discuss these concerns with a speech pathologist.  Speech pathologists from Speech Pathology Services can assess and treat your child.


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