Speech Pathologists, by profession need to be creative people, when working with children to build their speech and language skills, making the sessions so much fun that their little clients have no idea they are “learning.” In the case of I Can Do That and I Can Say That by Dr. Suzy Lederer, a professor of speech-language pathology with over 25 years experience, these inviting, educational, research-based, books were both authored and illustrated by speech-language pathologists.
Simple, clear stories aimed at children learning beginning vocabulary, gestures, sounds and language, these books use the strategies that speech pathologists seek in a book. Lists of target nouns and verbs, their corresponding signs, short rhyming lines, repetition of vocabulary, invitations to imitate in gesture and word, simple drawings and layout to limit distractions, bold-faced single words to encourage pre-literacy, and a quick pace, contribute to the magic of these stories. As therapists, we must constantly adjust our materials to meet the needs and interests of our little clients, providing stimulating and refreshing content. I Can Do That and I Can Say That invite, amuse and teach the child in a useful context.
Children are drawn in by the story’s simplicity and can’t help but join in the repetition of core vocabulary while pretending to eat, drink, hug, or kiss. My little testers enjoyed the kiss the most, anticipating and slobbering on the glossy page with delight. Answering yes and no questions and practicing greetings are included in the stories too.
Research shows that play and reading fosters language development in children. These books encouraged interaction and play, as an active 19 month-old sat on my lap through both stories in a book, spontaneously saying the sounds while looking at the animals quack, moo, meow, and woof. Acting out the verbs, brought in an element of pretend play, encouraging gestures and higher language function.
As an added feature, an interactive CD-ROM for your PC is included in both English and Spanish.
One mom declared these hard covered books so nice that they belonged in “supervised reading.” When I asked her to clarify she said, “I wouldn’t leave them out for him to rip the pages. They belong in the special Mommy and Me section of his bookshelf!” She clearly enjoyed reading the books as much as her son delighted in hearing them.