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Red Flags in Communication Development

Are you concerned about your child’s speech development? Speech and language disorders are treatable and early detection is a major contributor to speedier recoveries. The early stages from birth to 6 years are most crucial and knowing what to look out for is important.  

Our developmental checklist will help you to identify the warning signs and give your child the best possible start.  

Reasons to Refer to a Speech-Language Therapist


  • No words or less than 8 words used consistently
  • Few different speech sounds
  • Not understanding routines e.g. “bath time”                 
  • Not understanding names of familiar objects, e.g. shoes, teddy


  • Limited or no babbling
  • Not responding to name or sounds
  • Does not indicate when happy/upset
  • Does not point to objects or gesture
    (wave “bye bye” or shake head for “no”)


  • Vocabulary of less than 50 words
  • Not putting 2 words together e.g. “more juice”
  • Not following simple instructions
  • Little interest in social interaction


  • Not regularly putting 3+ words together
  • Not putting together a variety of different sentences
  • Not understanding questions like “Who…?” and “Where…?”
  • Strangers have difficulty understanding what the child is saying


  • Not asking questions
  • Not able to talk about previous events and say what they have been doing
  • Speech is still difficult to understand at times


  • Not able to listen to a short story and ask questions about it
  • Not able to repeat long sentences correctly
  • Not following 3-step instructions


  • Difficulty acquiring literacy skills
  • Difficulty with attention and memorization of facts
  • Continuing to have grammatical errors in sentences
  • Not able to tell a coherent story
What Can Parents Do?
  • Listen and respond to your child
  • Talk, read, and play with your child
  • Talk with your child in the language you are most comfortable using
  • Know it is good to teach your child to speak a second language
  • Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing
  • Use a lot of different words with your child
  • Use longer sentences as your child gets older
  • Have your child play with other children
  • Say the sounds correctly when you talk—it is okay if your child makes some mistakes with sounds
  • Do not correct speech sounds—it is more important to let your child keep talking
  • Give your child time to talk
  • Do not interrupt or stop your child while he or she is speaking
  • Listen and respond to your child
Speak to a Speech-Language Therapist if you are concerned.
Contact us for a free consultation at +852 2869 1962