Part 1: Early Words
A. First Signs of Understanding
Before children begin to speak, they show signs of understanding
language by responding to familiar words and phrases. Below are
some common examples. Does your child do any of these?
1. Respond when name is called (e.g., by turning and looking at source).
2. Respond to "no no" (by stopping what he/she is doing, at least for a moment).
3. React to "there's mommy/daddy" by looking around for them.
B. Phrases (28)
In the list below, please mark the phrases that your child seems to understand.
Are you Hungry? Daddy's/Mommy's home. Give me a kiss. Sit down.
Are you tired/sleepy? Do you want more? Go get _____. Spit it out.
Be careful. Don't do that. Good girl/boy. Stop it.
Be quiet. Don't touch. Hold still. Time to go night night.
Clap your hands. Get up. Let's go bye bye. Throw the ball.
Change diaper. Give it to mommy. Look/look here. This little piggy.
Come here/come on. Give me a hug. Open your mouth. Want to go for a ride?
C. Starting to Talk
1. Some children like to "parrot" or imitate things that they've just heard
(including new words that they are just learning, and/or parts of sentences,
for example, repeating "work now" after mother says "Mommy's going to
work now.") How often does your child imitate words?
Never Sometimes Often
2. Some children like to go around naming or labeling things, as
though proud of knowing the names and wanting to show this.
how often does your child do this?
Never Sometimes Often
D. Vocabulary Checklist
The following is a list of typical words in young children's vocabularies. For words your child understands but does not yet say, place
a mark in the first column (understands). For words that you child not only understands but also uses, place a mark in the second
column (understands and says). If your child uses a different pronunciation of a word (for example, "raffe" for "giraffe" or "sketti" for
"spaghetti"), mark the word anyway. Remember, this is a "catalogue" of words that are used by many different children. Don't worry if
your child knows only a few right now.
1. Sound Effects and Animal Sounds (12)
baa baa ouch vroomgrrr
choo choo meow quack quack woof woof
cockadoodledoo moo uh oh yum yum