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As an audiologist specialising in paediatrics, I reviewed this book out of interest to hopefully broaden my knowledge of a somewhat related subject.

I found this an interesting read with some good points made, such as the long-term outcomes for people with speech and language disorders as, not only does it impact on how they are viewed, but, in the long term, can also affect their mental health and future employment.

Written by an American focusing on pre-schoolers with a large number of video clips, Kelly is using hand gestures to reinforce different speech sounds which she encourages readers to either copy or adapt. The approach appears to revolve around a stock phrase: ‘First can you scrape it to me please?’. This is then expanded on with: ‘Then can you spray it to me please?’. Lastly: ‘Can you drop it to me please because I have angry dog teeth’. Scrape and spray get changed to sweep and squeak later on with lots of hand/arm gestures.

I found the video clips confusing, and I feel they didn’t demonstrate what was intended, as often the child was distracted by the promised reward or by the person filming. Also, another therapist working with another child can be heard quite loudly in the background in a number of the clips. As such, I found the later chapters (with fewer videos) more informative and interesting.

I feel this book is probably aimed at Kelly’s home American market, as the UK approach seems different having spoken to a local speech and language therapists. It would be interesting to see how the funding models in America and the UK impact on how speech and language services are delivered.

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Sylvia Balding

Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

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