It is common for parents of young parents to wonder whether their children are meeting their milestones and progressing as they should. While we may pay less attention to these things as children get older and become school-aged, there are still milestones they should be meeting and skills they should be developing. It is important to remember that all children develop in their own way, and reach milestones at different times and in varying order. There is a very wide range of normal and even if your child is not meeting all of these, it does not necessarily mean that they have a speech delay or communication disorder. Milestones are meant to be used as guidelines only, and in no way are meant to diagnose or identify a specific issue or disorder. While the majority of children will have mastered these milestones by their 7th birthday, many will have met some, a few or none of these. If you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language skills or their communication development, the sooner you seek support the better. Connect with one of our incredible speech and language pathologists by scheduling your free introductory call today!
What is Normal Speech for a 6-year old? Should a 6-year-old Speak Clearly? What Should a 6-year-old be Saying?
At this age, children are working on a wide variety of skills and concepts related to their communication abilities and speech and language skills. A child of this age may have mastered some or all of these, or they may be working towards reaching these milestones.
Speech Sound Production
At this age, children should be able to consistently produce the following sounds correctly:
-/p/, /b/, /m/, /h/, /n/, /w/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /d/, /f/, “y”, /t/, “ng”, /r/, /l/
A 6-year old’s speech should be understood by a stranger 90%-100% of the time.
Most 6-year-olds are correctly using pronouns, possessive pronouns, and adding ‘ing’ to verbs. Children of this age are also using plurals, past tense verbs, and possessives correctly. They are also producing sentences with an average of 4-5 words.
Pragmatic and Social Skills
By their seventh birthday, most children are interacting with peers and adults in the following ways:
- Uses and understands promises and threats
- Can make purchases in a store (with parental supervision)
- Takes pleasure in completing tasks and projects
- Inquires about the meanings of words
- Asks questions and seeks out information
- Is more careful when interacting with strangers or unfamiliar people
- Can engage in cooperative play, including playing fairly, taking turns, and assigning roles
A child of this age typically has a vocabulary ranging from 3,000-7,000 words.
Literacy and Reading Skills
A 6-Year-Old should be using books in most of these ways:
- Can recognize letters and letter-sound matches
- Understands that print is to be read left to right and top to bottom
- Can retell straightforward stories, recounting events in the correct order
- Is beginning to write stories with some assistance
- Will attempt to spell words when writing
- Understands that spoken words are made up of sounds and sound combinations
- Is able to recognize some words by sight
- Can identify and write both uppercase and lowercase letters
- Is able to print their own first and last name
If you are concerned about your child’s reading and literacy skills or want support for them as they develop these important skills, connect with one of our highly specialized speech and language pathologists by scheduling your free introductory call today!
A child of this age should have an understanding of the majority of these concepts:
- Superlative and comparative adjectives, such as “small”, “smaller”, and “smallest”
- Time concepts such as yesterday, today, tomorrow, first, then, next, last week, next week
- Has a strong understanding of the concept of opposites (empty/full, open/closed, etc.)
- Can understand and use such words as different, nearest, through, thin, whole
- Can identify positional concepts such as first, middle, last, or first, second and third.
- The use of adjectives to describe objects, including comparative adjectives such as fast, faster
- Can compare similar items and answer questions about how they may be similar and different
- Has a strong grasp of spatial concepts such as left/right, in front/behind
- Can understand number concepts up to twenty
- Is able to use adverb concepts such as forward and backward
Asking and Answering Questions
Most 6-year-olds should be able to employ the use of questions in most of the following ways:
- Is able to answer a variety of questions, including “yes/no” questions, and questions that begin with the words “what”, “who”, “where”, “why”, “how”, “when”, and “how many”
- Will ask “what”, “where”, “when”, “how”, “who” and one-word “why” questions
- Will ask “is” questions (such as “what is this?” and “is it lunchtime?”)
At the age of 6, children should be able to practice most of the following listening skills:
- Is able to repeat sentences up to nine words in length
- Can follow three-step directions such as “Please get your shoes, put them on, and wait by the door.”
- Will respond correctly to different types of sentences but still may experience confusion at times by more complex or unfamiliar sentences
Wherever your child may land when it comes to meeting these milestones, they can always benefit from extra support. Online speech therapy can be a very valuable resource for school-aged children, even for those who are developing as they should. Time with a speech therapist can be beneficial to all children and will help set them up for academic success. If you have any concerns at all about your child’s development, don’t wait and see whether they start to struggle or fall behind in school. The sooner you seek guidance and support for your child, the better. Now with speech therapy available online, it has never been easier to connect with a highly experienced and qualified speech and language pathologist. Don’t delay, schedule your free introductory call today to learn how speech therapy can help your child.