Book Review by Lavelle Carlson

Toddler’s first words – Do new parents know what to expect for their first child in terms of expected word usage. My Toddler’s First Words is an excellent book for new parents to help. Therefore, this book will be an asset for new parents who often have little experience in what to expect in the way of toddler’s first words and speech and language growth for their children. Speech-language pathologist, Kimberly O. Scanlon, M.A., CCC-SLP, wrote the book, My Toddler’s First Words to give parents the tools in an easy manner with charts and simple, non-technical jargon. In addition, this book is excellent for parents of children at no speech and language risk and also for children at risk for speech-language difficulties. Furthermore, My Toddler’s First Words is also an excellent book for speech-language pathologists to reference for parents of children on their caseload.

My Toddler’s First Words answers questions for parents that they may not be aware they should ask. For example, some of the questions answered: How does the toddler communicate (words or gestures as in pointing and pulling, the number and types of words and what is a word)? 

Furthermore, My Toddler’s First Words also gives the parent/caregivers a list of early words. The most important section of the book gives the parents are the techniques for eliciting first words: 

  1. Identify and appreciate the child’s lead.
  2. Be responsive.
  3. Pause in anticipation.
  4. Set it up.
  5. Give choices.
  6. Imitate, imitate, imitate.
  7. Create predictable play routines.
  8. Strategically prompt for target words.

In addition to the techniques for word elicitation, My Toddler’s First Words also gives a parent and/or caregiver a 30-day program with charts and suggestions. This may be where the speech-language pathologist (SLP) can use the book. The SLP can assist the parent/caregiver in using the chart to meet the goals that have been set for a child in speech therapy.

As a result of using the techniques in the book, parents speech-language pathologists have benefitted. This can be seen in the comments by speech-language pathologist and parents on using Ms. Scanlon’s (the author’s) suggested techniques for increasing communication in early children. Unfortunately, there are too many excellent suggestions to be mentioned in a short book review. For more suggestions, check out the book on Amazon.

You can find more information on Kimberly O. Scanlon’s My Toddler’s First Words as well as her other books on her website

Lavelle Carlson is the author of several storybooks (, including I Am Not Sleeping (for teaching early verbs in English and Spanish). More books by speech-language pathologists/authors can be found at by clicking on Books by Speech-language Pathologists.

This review is not a paid review.

My Toddler’s First Words
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