Listen to My Show!

“Teach Me To Talk with Laura and Kate” now airs LIVE on every Sunday night at 6 pm eastern time.

You can listen any time by clicking the show # under the blue blogtalkradio icon in the right column.

If you’d like for us to answer YOUR question, leave it here on the website in the comments section, or better yet, call us and ask us yourself!

Posted in



  1. Laura on January 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    In show #98 Kate and I will be answering recent questions from moms, Sinead and Gemma, who aren’t from the USA and have questions about their late talking toddlers. Join us!

  2. Ashley on May 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    We just had our 24 month old daughter evaluated by early intervention but she didn’t qualify for speech services. I still have concerns and would love your advice. Some helpful information about our situation:

    * She uses around 50 single words. Many words are combined with a sign.

    * She doesn’t use pronouns or refer to herself by name. Most of her vocabulary is nouns but she does use words like “more,” “please,” “up,” and has recently used “on” and “off.”

    * She does not spontaneously combine words but after 2-3 months of encouragement, now will occasionally mimic back a 2 word phrase.

    * She has unusual speech errors. Examples of my concerns include using a “k” sound for book, drink, and walk. Saying “mee” and “dee” for mommy and daddy, “na-na” for cat and milk, and “nee” for banana. Replacing a “b” sound for a “d” sound in some words, like “die-die” for bye-bye and “dee” for baby, but saying “baw” for ball and “buh” for bubbles.

    * Some vowel sounds have not been attempted, like the long A sound, but she does have a nice variety of vowel and consonant sounds that she can make.

    * It can take a lot of effort to keep new words. Some stick easily, but others are forgotten if I’m not consciously trying to expose her to the word.

    * Her receptive language skills are fine.

    I’m wondering which area should I focus my attention on? Learning new single words? Helping her combine two words, no matter how off it sounds? Getting the correct number of syllables in a word? Major articulation errors?

    Any other thoughts or advice is very much appreciated! I love your podcast, thanks for all you do 🙂

  3. Ashley on July 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Laura and Kate! I’m the same mom from the question above. I’ve continued listening to the podcasts and ordered the DVDs. My daughter is now 26 months and I’m happy to say that we made big progress the past week. Some of her very off target words are now age appropriate. “cheese” which used to be pronounced “ssssss” is now “chee,” “cat” which was “nah-nah” is now “ca”, and she can now say Mommy and Daddy! She even just popped out very clearly “I see you Daddy” while playing at the park. This week she also began making quite a few 2 word sentences on her own and has tried to mimicking many others. My daughter just began seeing an early interventionist because she qualified for services due to social/behavioral delays. The woman works well with my daughter but we both agree there isn’t a behavioral issue beyond a spirited 2 year old and my daughter would benefit from seeing a speech therapist.

    I wanted to say thanks for your great information and ask where you would go from here. My daughter hasn

  4. Ashley on July 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    My daughter hasn’t learned a lot of new words and we still have a lot of very off target words, like “nah-nah” for milk/drink. B words are a big trouble area for her, too and she won’t attempt words that start with “h” with the exception of “hot.” Should we move on to 3 word sentences or work more on the other issues?

  5. Laura on July 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Ashley – Sorry I missed your previous comment! I was speaking in TN that week, so I guess it got lost in the shuffle. I’m so, so glad you’re getting help from EI and that your therapist is doing well with your little girl. Perhaps she can lay the foundation for you to qualify for additional speech services since her issues sound more like a “disorder” rather than a simple delay. BUT at least you’re getting help from someone who has experience working with children with communication delays.

    It’s great that she’s making some progress already and some of her off-target attempts are closer. I wouldn’t move on to 3 word phrases yet. I’d keep working to expand her vocabulary with new words. Take a look at the vocabulary lists in the sign language section and the First 100 Words article in the category too. When she has enough words to move on to more complex phrases, she likely will since begin to do those she’s using some phrases on her own now. Build the foundation so she has more to talk about with new words. Make sure she has a wide variety of nouns/names for people and objects, is using familiar verbs/actions words, uses some early prepositions/location words, and some pronouns like me, my, mine, I, and you. As her vocabulary size increases, it’s likely her phrase length will expand too.

    I still wouldn’t overemphasize articulation over learning new words, getting the right sounds in the right places, just yet. When she makes a mistake, model the correct word. You must also be addressing this correctly because she is “fixing” some of her mispronunciations, so keep up the good work!

    Thanks so much for your great questions! Let me know how much I can help you, and again, I’m so sorry I overlooked your first comment!!! It sounds like you’re on the right track though! Laura

  6. Emily Brown on October 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Laura,
    First THANK-YOU sooooo much for your wonderful podcast! I started listening to your podcast via the archives a few weeks ago as it has begun to be very clear that my 3.5 year old son, Daniel, has some delays in a few areas. So far we have identified that he has a fine motor delay, a bunch of sensory processing issues, and terrible echolalia. I am also very unsure as to whether and how much he understands question phrases such as “where is…,” “how many ____ would you like or do you see?.” Often, he answers as if he understands, so if I ask him “Do you know where your violin is?” he will answer, “Yes,” but when I follow up with “ok, where is it?” he responds with “can you get it for me?” I find this exceedingly frustrating and I know he finds it frustrating also, since he wants the violin and I sincerely don’t know where it is. Also, his answers sometime don’t seem to be answers at all, but rather echolalic responses. E.g., sometimes when asked his name, he will respond “My name is Daniel;” but recently, after hearing me answer “what is your name,” and I responded “My name is Emily,” he was asked the same question and responded “My name is Emily.” He doesn’t seem to understand the concept of a last name, so when I told him our last name is Brown, he disputed that at first, but then started calling me “Mama Brown,” which seemed to make sense, but then moved on to calling me “Mama Green” and “Mama Blue.” I wish our last name wasn’t also a color :-/ I just don’t know how to help him understand these abstract concepts such as last name, question words/phrases, etc. I hope you can give me some advice!!

    We have recently begun the evaluation process with our local children’s developmental services agency and we anticipate that they will likely diagnose Daniel either with PDD or ASD. I also anticipate that they will deem him eligible for Speech and OT to address the issues named above, but this may take a while to get underway and since doing research on these issues, I’ve learned that time is very much of the essence, so I’m eager to learn and begin doing what I can do to help. I have already listened to your podcast on echolalia and it turns out I’ve already been doing what you’ve suggested in that podcast, and I believe it is helping. I know I will learn more when we get speech going, but we will see 🙂

    Daniel has been enrolled since he was 13 months old in a Spanish immersion preschool, and the preschool reports that they find him to be considerably more effective at communicating in Spanish than I believe him to be in English. I have found this confusing, as it is not his first language and he was beginning to speak a little bit before he was enrolled there. One theory I have about why this may be the case is that Spanish is a far less complex language and its vocabulary is a great deal smaller. Also, his teachers are all native Spanish speakers with at least a bachelors degree in early childhood development/education. I suspect that his teachers are much more skilled than my husband and I are in speaking to children in less complex, more age-appropriate language. My husband and I are both very verbal and we tend to use large/less common vocabulary and more complex sentence structures. I have tried and tried to remedy this in myself but I have absolutely no idea how to do it. (We are both psychotherapists, working with children, adolescents, and adults, and should theoretically be able to do a good job with this; and while my husband seems to be more capable of this than I am, I struggle with this so much that I have tended to refer my English speaking clients with lower cognitive abilities to other therapists, since I have learned that this is a population I am not very effective in serving). I also think that since he is at pre-school during his more alert hours of the day and has better structure and routine there, that probably also helps him speak more appropriately and with less echolalia at school.

    My specific question has to do with how I can help Daniel better understand and respond to questions appropriately. Can you refer me to any podcasts you’ve already recorded re: how I can help him with this? (I haven’t had a chance to listen to the entire archives, so I don’t want to ask you to rehash the issue you if you have already covered it in a previous podcast). If this issue hasn’t already been addressed I would love to discuss it further. I could call in to the show live one Sunday evening if that’s the best approach or I would welcome any suggestions you can provide.

    Oh, also, if this is at all helpful to know, and can be helpful in figuring out what strategies might be help us to help him learn to communicate more effectively, Daniel seems to have a particular gift for music. He sings all the time, is better at the piano than I am (after 12 years of lessons! – though I am exceptionally bad, even after that much training), has been begging for a cello and a violin ever since he first saw/heard them played, and plays the drums exceptionally well. Someone recently gave him a violin and he loves it, but keeps asking for a cello. I recently broke down and got him one. He will begin lessons soon with a teacher who I think will be very, very good for him. She understands that he has these delays and they have met, and seem to like each other very much.

    He also has a remarkable memory. He remembers events and people clearly from so long ago I have to stretch my mind to remember what/who he is talking about. He also has a very deep spirituality. He is consumed with crosses. We have several and he walks around the house and talks to them all the time. He has been doing this since he was about 1 year old and before his “talking” made any sense to anyone at all. (Actually, when he talks to crosses it still makes no sense). He loves photographs and sculptures of Jesus, and wants to be in churches all the time, but never when other people are there. He sings several verses of several hymns such as “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God,” “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God,” “Amazing Grace,” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” He gravitates toward these songs and these topics far more than would make sense given his exposure to church/hymns. (There are many people on both sides of our family who have been pastors/priests/deeply spiritual, so this could explain that).

    Thank-you so much!
    Emily Brown, Siler City, NC

  7. Ashley on October 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Laura. I’m the mom who wrote above. My daughter is now 30 months old and we’ve continued to see wonderful progress. The EI seeing our daughter was a big help in getting our daughter a referral for speech therapy services. She also continued to work with my daughter at home, mostly targeting speech as well. And I have used the information from your website, podcasts, and DVDs to continue working with my daughter, too. At 30 months, she no longer qualifies for services through the state but still continues to see a private speech therapist.

    I have a question about a child having a “tight” jaw/mouth or talking through their teeth. The therapist has commented many times that my daughter’s “jaw was tight” and I’ve noticed muffled speech/talking through her teeth (and sometimes her nose, making her sound very nasally, if that makes sense). I notice it happens more with unfamiliar words/phrases. I don’t know if it happens more often with some sounds than others. The only thing I can think to do is to really elongate vowels and open my mouth really big to show her to open her mouth. Is there any strategies you can think of to helps with this? I’ve read a lot of speech-y articles and I haven’t seen anything on this situation. Is there anything we should specifically be concerned about or looking out for?

    Thanks again!

Leave a Comment

Teach Me To Talk Testimonials

Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"Gosh, I love all of your emails/podcast/website, just everything!! I work in early intervention as a behavior analyst and am learning so much from you!"

Thank you!




I love your work! I am a professor of early childhood special education and a speech language pathologist! I have worked to help children learn to communicate and I know how valuable the information you share is for both early interventionists and pediatric speech language pathologists!

Thank you for systematically organizing and explaining essential steps for young children to learn and develop. You are having a great impact on our profession, the ECE profession and families!"



"Thank you.

If this is Laura herself reading this email let me take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have put forth for us professionals. I own every manual (except the autism manual) and have watched every course on DVD. I have listened to countless podcasts. All of what I’ve come to be as an Early Intervention speech therapist was absolutely to your credit. With your resources at my side I have never needed to scramble for answers and strategies and above all the clear language I use when communicating with parents. My fun, animated affect and key phrases I use have been learned through watching your example. So….thank you! May you be blessed."


"I just wanted to thank you so much for your incredible help! You are so kind and lovely and every time I implement something you've taught in your manuals or videos it is always a success, I cannot thank you enough. I really appreciate how specific you are in giving us examples of wording to use and how to use a toy in therapy with your videos, it is exactly what I need to properly help my little students. I also really appreciate your list of books of list of toys. I have seen my little students make significant progress thanks to you. I'm looking forward to watching more of your videos, taking more of your CEU's, and reading more of your materials. From the bottom of my heart: thank you so much again!!"


"Dear Laura,

What an inspiration!

Thank you for helping me be a better Developmental Therapist. I often listen to your podcasts which help me help families.

Your enthusiasm, professionalism and
the sheer volume of information is so great.

You are part of my team.

I just wanted you to know I appreciate you."


"Dear Laura,

Thank you for your generosity in sharing so much knowledge in such a clear and enthusiastic way.

As a retired audiologist with a fabulous and language delayed grandson, I used your podcasts and outstanding publication, The Autism Workbook, to inspire and guide me over the past year.

It works!! He went from barely verbal, no gestures, didn't respond to his name etc etc to a verbal, social, curious, ready to imitate anything, fill in the blanks on familiar "set" speech, generate his own totally appropriate and mostly understandable sentences...not just short phrases anymore... full little paragraphs...about imaginary things, what he did during the day, what he wants. True communication!

You make a powerful difference in this world! ❤"

With gratitude,

"Laura Mize, you are a Godsend. I don’t know how one human can have so many helpful things to say in a beautifully organized way, so often. Always amazes me when another super helpful email comes from you, and for free. With free YouTube videos and cheap CEUs. THANK YOU!!!"

Sheila, Canada

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."


"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"


"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

"Laura Mize, all I have to say is that ALL YOUR STRATEGIES WORK."

ANNE, YouTube viewer

"We have 7 SLPs in our preschool (public) program for special needs children (ages 3-5) and we use your courses, books, and techniques every day! :-) We have seen our preschoolers make such great gains!"


"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!!"


"I just really appreciate your courses! I have two new clinicians that I’m working with and have recommended these courses to both of them. I’ve watched quite a few and have learned so much about serving this population. To be honest, before I started implementing your strategies I was a little frustrated with the lack of progress. My skills with engaging these little ones have improved so much! Thank you so much for making these CEUs so valuable!" C, SLP