Mommy Speech Therapy

I wanted to share with you a comment I received earlier this week on this site from a mom who bought Teach Me To Talk – The DVD for her son, and then I want to share what seems to be the common denominator in the dozens of e-mails I’ve received like this in the two short months since the DVD was released.

From Kristen –

“Several weeks ago I came to the conclusion I was going to have to become my son’s speech therapist. He has speech one hour a week which isn’t enough and he doesn’t respond very much to it at all. I was going to have to do something, but what? I began searching for answers and someone had posted a link to your site on a discussion board. Clicking that link was like finding a pot of gold! I read everything you have ever posted, printed it out and then read them again. I ordered your dvd and watched it and watched it and watched it. The way you demonstrated how to do things was difficult for me to emulate at first, I just don?t have that type of personality. MY SON STARTED RESPONDING!!! That made it easier and easier to do. In this short month he has acquired 27 new words! He is no longer frustrated and can tell me what he wants. His behavior is improving as well. His speech therapist is trying to take the credit but we know where the credit truely belongs. Thank you Laura!!

p.s. I don’t get much internet time anymore because my son loves mommy speech therapy!!!”

I nearly wrecked my car when my husband called me on my cell phone during the day between my appointments to read me this comment. I wanted to jump out of my car, stand up, and applaud this mother right there on I-71! And not just because she liked the DVD, but for all of the reasons I’ve listed below. If you’ve read this site for very long at all, you know how much I like a numbered list, so here goes:

1. This mom took matters into her own hands.

She took the leadership role on her child’s therapy team. She saw that things weren’t working, so she rolled up her sleeves, took the bull by the horns, or whatever metaphor you want to use, but she made a decision, and then she got herself in gear. She didn’t just sit back and lament that her son wasn’t making progress. She didn’t call and complain so she could get someone else to see him. She decided that SHE was in charge of her child’s progress, and that SHE needed to make some changes, so she did, and she started with HERSELF!

2. This mom searched for answers.

She didn’t look for one little new idea and stop at that. Did you see what she wrote? She said she read and re-read articles. Then, she printed them out so she could read them again! This was not a little project she tried to fit in between phone calls to friends and “me time.” She made a commitment to her son to learn everything she could about helping him. And she didn’t do it by using her internet time to get on a message board and complain about what was going wrong. She did it by using this information super-highway that we have to learn to do what she didn’t already know.

When reading wasn’t enough, she decided to change her approach. She thought about learning in a different way and bought a new tool to help her SEE what to do and SEE how to do it.

3. This mom didn’t give up when it wasn’t easy.

As other moms have told me, being playful and animated isn’t natural for them. (Just so you know, some days it wasn’t, and sometimes still isn’t, that natural for me either!)

Because this approach was new for her, she didn’t just watch and decide it wasn’t for her. Did you read what she wrote? She watched and watched and watched, and then it happened. She started trying the techniques and low and behold, HER SON STARTED TO RESPOND!

I will tell you this, this scenario happens much more of the time than it doesn’t with the moms I’ve heard from who have bought the DVD and the moms of children I actually see. Using these strategies at home does work. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes it feels this hard when you’re first getting started.

And just like this mom said, the more you do it, the easier it gets. You really can fake it when you don’t feel like it. Believe me, I ought to know about this one! When your head is pounding, and there’s another crisis brewing, and you got very little sleep the night before, you can still MAKE yourself fun and playful, or just appear that way.

Guess what? If you make half an effort, your child will probably meet you half way. Again, take my word for it, because I’ve started the first few minutes of lots of visits in half-way mode and ended up with a whole lot more than that. When your child starts to respond, you will find yourself getting better and better at it. When you get better and better, so does your child.  It’s a cycle, but a good one!

4. When language improves, so does everything else.

When a child finally begins to learn to communicate, everyone’s life gets a little easier. Sometimes it gets a lot easier! This mom said that her son’s behavior improved when he started to learn more words and wasn’t as frustrated. Now that’s not to say that you aren’t still going to have those toddler moments, but dealing with a child who can TELL you what he wants is much easier to do than deal with one who can just grunt or cry or whine or SCREAM at the top of his little lungs!

5. When your child begins to improve, the credit belongs to YOU!

This mom was gracious and kind enough to try to give me some of the credit for helping her child, but the truth is, SHE is the one who taught her child to talk. At the end of the day, I hope she takes a good long look in the mirror, smiles back, and says, “THANK YOU – YOU DID GOOD GIRL” – to herself! Her son may not be able to say that to her yet, but one day he will, and she will be the one who deserves the credit.


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1 Comment

  1. Annette on September 11, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    What a wonderful article Laura! Giving this mom the credit she deserves makes us all feel that we are making a difference! I can totally relate to her feelings and actions, as I was in her shoes just this past March, I too felt that urge to take charge! It has been a challenge, and you have made it easier with your help and encouragement.

    I’m still filling up on information, activities and techniques thanks to your site and DVD! I am also “retraining” my SLPs in how to work with MY child by suggesting your site as a guideline and recommending your DVD, because this is what is working for my son! Thank you for the resources to do that! :o) You have been my light at the end of the tunnel.

    Jake’s success is my goal, and we will achieve it… together.
    Annette ~ Jake’s mom

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"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."


"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"


"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."


"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."


"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."


"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"


"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"