Many families ask about materials they can purchase to support their child’s speech and language development at home. The following products are among our very favorite recommendations. Please feel free to ask us about any of them. Many of the books can be found in your local library. For families who want to purchase items, we provided links to websites (please note some of these products are affiliate links).
Toddlers and Young Preschoolers
I recommend Mick Inkpen’s “Wibbly Pig” books because of their simplicity. Reading them with your young children is a great way to expose them to vocabulary, early sentence structure, and the basics of story grammar. In our office are four well-worn “Wibbly Pig” books that I read to my son when he was young. My favorite is Wibbly Pig Likes to Have Fun (formerly called Wibbly Pig is Happy), but I recommend the others as well.
- Nancy Theofrastous
The “First Sound Series” books were written by two speech-language pathologists, Lavinia Pereira, MA, CCC-SLP, PC, and Michelle Solomon, MA, CCC-SLP, PC. Each of the 11 books targets one early-developing speech sound. For children in the very early days of speech development, I suggest Uh-Oh!, Oh! A Bubble, Mama More, Daddy Do, Pop up!, and Hannah Sighs. All of the books are also good for vocabulary development. I bought a set of the “First Sound Series” books for our office when they were first published. According to internet searches I have done, they are likely out of print, and the used copies are pricey. In August 2019, I searched Clevnet and found most of them. I suggest you borrow them through your local library. If you’d like to preview the books, ask one of us at WRSLP to show them to you.
I’m a fan of All Better!, by Henning Lohlein and Bernd Penners, because of its simple drawings and repetitive format. During therapy, toddlers and young preschoolers enjoy placing bandages on the animals’ boo-boos. Because little children know all about boo-boos (and “boo-boo” is a relatively easy word to say), All Better! offers a great way to engage with them on a familiar topic.
- Hope Super
Preschool and Early School-Age
I often use Alexandra Day’s “Carl” books when working with young children on descriptive language and the basics of story grammar. Day’s nearly wordless, beautifully illustrated books tell the story of a Rottweiler and the children that adults leave in his care. Suspend reality (and good judgment!) for a moment and, together with your child, say words and sentences that describe their adventures. My favorite is Follow Carl! While you read it, you and your child can roll around, carry sticks, and beg for cookies, just as Carl and the children do. Have fun!
I’m a fan of Marvin Terban because he uses humor to teach big ideas. The three books listed below are great for introducing older elementary children to the joy of word play and to early figurative language. I often use Terban’s books to broaden how children think about language.
Middle School and High School
Figurative language can be intimidating for students of any age. Marvin Terban, in the books shown below, eases that process with humor and stories. When lessons in the classroom and textbooks are not enough, look to Terban. Read his books along with your middle-school and high-school students and talk about how figurative language can be found in almost every piece of literature, every classroom lesson, and every conversation at school, at home, and in the community.
Local, State, and National Resources:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Help Me Grow (public services for children birth to three)
Milestones Autism Resources (located in Beachwood)
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
Jon Peterson Special Needs (JPSN) Scholarship
JPSN Scholarship Parent Portal
(allows current JPSN and Autism Scholarship families to view their child’s account on the ODE website) education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Other-Resources/Scholarships/Special-Needs-Scholarship/Jon-Peterson-Scholarship-Check-Your-Eligibility/Parent-Portal-Manual-2.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US
A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education