Let’s Talk About Talking…Ways to Strengthen the 11 Skills Toddlers Master Before Words Emerge

Book release

Let’s Talk About Talking…Ways to Strengthen the 11 Skills All Toddlers Master Before Words Emerge

In this therapy manual (it’s a whopper at 330+ pages!), learn the 11 prerequisite skills ALL toddlers, regardless of their diagnosis, acquire before they begin to talk.

After receiving overwhelming feedback from my podcast series of the same name, I began diligently working on this written version which I hoped would be an easy rewrite. Not so easy!! I worked and reworked each skill to shape this information into a comprehensive, but uncomplicated, user-friendly manual suitable for both parents and professionals. I’ve poured over every recommendation, every strategy, and added (and added, and added) activities. I even revised some of the skills and the sequence. If you liked the podcast series, you’re going to LOVE this book! You’ll get lots and lots of new material not on the shows. It’s the new and improved version : )

With step-by-step written instructions for tons of FUN and easy-to-implement activities, parents and professionals can be confident in their ability to successfully identify and then strengthen these 11 major skills that encompass all the important social, cognitive, receptive, and expressive milestones that verbal and communicative kids have mastered.

These 11 skills are the “missing pieces” for our little friends who aren’t talking yet. Do you have kids on your caseload (or in your own house!) who have plateaued and seem “stuck” at the same level with no real improvements week after week and month after month? In nearly every case, this can be traced back to a weakness in one or more of these core areas. Even the diagnoses late talking toddlers may eventually receive can be linked back to one of these 11 areas. We may miss it though if we’re not purposefully looking at early language development in this systematic, yet practical way.

I took the “best of” features from each of my 3 previous therapy manuals and included them here…

Like my first manual, Teach Me To Play WITH You, this one is also written in a “homework” format with one-page activities therapists can select, copy, implement with a family during a session, and then leave as a follow-up for parents to refer to for guidance between visits. See a sample page here.

Like my second manual, Teach Me To Talk: The Therapy Manual, this one contains lots of discussion for not only what to do, but how to do it, and why we do it! You’ll be able to explain this information to parents too using everyday language I provide in the book. Each of the 11 skills contains a one-sentence explanation (along with discussion, of course!) for how the skill affects language development. No more guessing…no more trying to come up with the tie in on your own…I’ve done the work for you!

Like my third manual, Building Verbal Imitation in Toddlers, this one comes with a CHART to succinctly explain these 11 skills. I know it’s going to become another “go to” reference for SLPs and other therapists who work in early intervention. Other handouts include SIMPLE IDEAS for embedding strategies in a family’s existing everyday routines and a checklist to help you know what to target.

As you can tell, I AM STOKED about this manual. It’s the most relevant, most in-depth, yet easiest to understand, a project I’ve ever produced. I’ve had overwhelming success with it and I know you will too!

Take a look at a sample page in Teaching a Toddler to Vocalize

And here with Teach a Child to Imitate Words with Snacks


Finally – an outline of what’s included in Let’s Talk About Talking


Comments about the book —

“We LOVE LOVE LOVE the therapy manual!!! I feel like I could return to early intervention with just this one manual and know more than several therapists that attempted to work with our son. Oh, if we had found you sooner!” Hannah, Parent and SLP


“It is tricky to explain the pre-linguistic development piece to parents so that they really, really get it. I am only a couple chapters into the new book so I am sure this will help me in this area.” Wendi, SLP


​​​​​​​“I even gave the parents your 11 Skills Chart (because it’s AWESOME) and because there were many deficits in social interaction and pre-linguistic skills that needed to addressed initially.” Dana, SLP


“You’ve done it again with another FANTASTIC resource for birth to 3 therapists. I am not a speech pathologist, but I use this book in my practice as a Developmental Therapist and feel confident in the information I present to families about their child’s communication skills. Thank you!” Brooke, Developmental Therapist


“I am writing you to say a big thanks for your book Let’s Talk About Talking. It’s easy to follow, even for a parent like me who is not able to go to therapy. We are seeing good results with our son who is 2 and still not talking, but now we finally feel like we have some hope.” Dan, Parent


“I am sure you hear this all the time, but I love your resources. The charts from Let’s Talk About Talking have helped me tremendously in my private practice with my early intervention kiddos. It pulls together all of the things I already say to families, but now it’s in one page and super easy for them to understand. Love the treatment ideas in the book too! Keep them coming!” Becky, SLP



Posted in


Leave a Comment

Teach Me To Talk Testimonials

Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"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!!"