Introducing Speech/Language Differences With Children’s Books

This has been a topic of some discussion on the message boards recently.  Books are a wonderful vehicle for all kinds of skill development.  On the Speaking of Speech CDs, volume 1 & 2, I have extension activities for over 50 children’s books that I have used for basic concepts, auditory memory, vocabulary, story retelling, artic, fluency, and social skills.  My school librarian recently referred me to the Book Adventure site, where adults and students can easily search for books by grade level and topic of interest.  My Resource Links page lists lots of sites where one can find lesson plans, etc., related to children’s literature, and there are a number of book-related lesson plans on my site’s Lesson Plans/Data Forms page and under the Literacy heading on the Materials Exchange.

I’ve recently come up with a new use of children’s books — to help students who have s/l issues fit into the regular education classroom.  Recently, a few unfortunate instances of teasing have surfaced in the younger grades and the teachers approached me about how to handle this. As a result, I have been accumulating a collection of storybooks that the teachers can read to their class as a way to introduce the topic of s/l differences and begin a discussion of tolerance.  Some of the books I’ve gathered thus far:

MY MOUTH IS A VOLCANO! about blurting out and interrupting (teacher’s activity guide also available)


BEN HAS SOMETHING TO SAY about stuttering


HOOWAY FOR WODNEY WAT about articulation

LISTEN BUDDY about paying attention and following directions


IAN’S WALK about autism

SPEECH CLASS RULES an introduction to speech therapy

MISS LANEY IS ZANY a chapter book about a fun-loving speech therapist (aren’t we all?)

I would love to know of other books that I should add to my collection.  Please email me at, leave a comment on this post, or post them on the “Phonemic Awareness, Children’s Books, and Literacy” message board under “This Works for Me.”  Thanks!

UPDATE 11/18/12:  A very important addition to this list, especially for anyone who knows or works with a student who uses AAC, is my new children’s book HOW KATIE GOT A VOICE (AND A COOL NEW NICKNAME).  See my blog post from August 3 to learn more about this book.

UPDATE 3/31/15:  I’ve published two new books about speech therapy:  “The Mouth With a Mind of Its Own” about a boy with a severe artic disorder, and “There Was a Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice,” that introduces the materials we use in therapy.  You can order autographed copies of these  and “How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname)” from Speaking of


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