Biggest Regret Parents of Late Talkers Share


Every day I hear from parents of toddlers with language delays who share with me their biggest regret…


Waiting to mention to the pediatrician that they’re worried about their child

Waiting to make the call to set up an evaluation

Even waiting to try to do anything on their own to help their baby


Waiting may seem like a good option when you’re not sure what else to do.

But the problem with waiting is that it can drive you crazy! Even though you try not to worry, you feel that internal tug to DO something….to try something.

If you’re the parent of a late talker, I can help you with that. I can teach you what to do at home TODAY to help your child begin to say words.

This week I’ll be sending out a series of emails with practical strategies any parent (or therapist!) can use immediately to get language going. (If you’re not on the list, you can be! Click back to the home page and subscribe.)

Here’s today’s tip….

Introduce verbal routines.

What’s a verbal routine?

A verbal routine is a set of words that are repeated at a predictable time during an activity.

We use verbal routines any time we say…

the same words, in the same way, for the same things, at the same time

For example, common verbal routines are things like saying, “Ready, Set, Go!” as you roll a truck across the floor.

Verbal routines are powerful  for kids who don’t talk yet. They’re often the missing link for many late talkers. I say “missing” link because most parents don’t know how to use a verbal routine or how effective it can be.

In my 20+ year career as a speech-language pathologist, I’ve found that the toddlers who respond best to this tip are ones who understand words, but who don’t respond when you tell them, “Say ____.” A child’s reluctance to try to repeat words can leave a parent feeling helpless and like there’s nothing that will work.

Thankfully, setting up verbal routines DOES WORK for many late talking toddlers.

Here’s why:

Our brains are wired for recognition.

When you use the same words during a specific sequence of events, a child begins to recognize the routine and respond. Once the routine is familiar, the child begins to participate, link meaning to the words, and then finally, say the words himself.

Here’s how we introduce verbal routines:

Say the same words, in the same way, for the same things, at the same time.

For example, every time you get ready to pick up your child, you could say, “Up, up, up!” And then when you’re going to put him down, you say, “1…2…3…down!”

Or you could sing little songs and tie them to your daily routines. For instance, when you’re getting a child dressed, you could sing these words to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.”

“This is the way we put on socks, put on socks, put on socks.                                                                                                     This is the way we put on socks, early in the morning.”

After a while of using the routine, you’ll begin to pause to wait for your child to fill in the missing words.

Additional “Tricks”

There are additional “tricks” for making verbal routines even more powerful for late talkers. If you’d like step-by-step instructions, you can find those in my hour-long online video Creating Verbal Routines. You’ll learn how to implement this successful technique today with things you already do at home every day.

I won’t just tell you how to do Verbal Routines…. I’ll show you! You’ll see over 30 minutes of video clips from REAL LIFE speech therapy sessions when I’ve used Verbal Routines to teach toddlers and young preschoolers to talk. You’ll see parents right there participating in therapy, working with their child, and most of all, having fun!

In addition to the online video, you’ll receive an eight-page written guide to pairing with the activities demonstrated in the video. If you’re a parent, you’ll have instructions in your hands to help you remember what you’re supposed to do! If you’re a therapist, you’ll have written information to share with parents as you use this strategy during therapy sessions. Essentially, you’ll be starting a family’s at-home therapy program.

So instead of waiting, get started right now with the online video! It’s effective, convenient, and affordable – only $19.99. Click here to purchase and watch today!!


Laura Mize, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist

In some cases, the link to the video may expire after a few days. If this happens to you, email me at and I’ll send you a new link you can access forever!

**Sorry, but coupon codes are not valid for this purchase.**

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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!!"


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"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!!"