Targeting Language Delays: IEP Goals & Activities for Students with Developmental Challenges : Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

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Book Review

Targeting Language Delays

IEP Goals & Activities for Students with Developmental Challenges

Tewar, Shruti N. MPH, MBBS

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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: May 2015 - Volume 36 - Issue 4 - p 234
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000164
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This is a first book from an author with more than 40 years of experience working with children with speech language delays. Its purpose is to provide a step-by-step approach in planning and working on individualized goals for receptive language, expressive language, listening skills, and whole word reading for students with developmental challenges. Although it is developed as a manual for speech language pathologists working with students with language delays, it can be used by teachers, parents, and other personnel with no formal training in speech and language therapy.

Language delays constitute a major portion of developmental delays and contribute to ongoing learning difficulties in children with developmental disabilities affecting their long-term outcomes. There are very few resources available addressing foundational skills in receptive and expressive language areas in a goal-directed manner. This book is divided into two parts. Part 1 discusses tips on using this manual and teaching language skills and Part 2 covers goals in the key language areas of following directions, negative “no” and “not,” vocabulary (nouns and verbs), classification and categorization, descriptors, concepts, “wh” questions, listening skills, word sentence structure, and whole word reading. Goals are clearly defined and progress in a sequential manner providing a structure to the flow of teaching this content. Each goal is further broken down into materials needed, instructions, activities to do with the student to work on both receptive and expressive language pertinent to the goal and ideas to generalize the concept to other settings outside the session. Although the manual has goals that progress in a sequential manner, several goals from different sections can be worked on in a single session.

The activities and games recommended throughout the manual are easy to use, multisensorial, engaging for the learner, and inexpensive. Readers will appreciate the ease of using this book. It has an easy to read font and layout, content which is organized thoughtfully, with clear and excellent tables of lists of activities. Activity logs are provided in a tabular form to keep track of students' progress on goals. All the goals have a carryover component, which is one of the best features of this book. This makes it easier for caregivers to strengthen the skills while applying them to daily activities outside of school, empowering them to be more involved in their child's development.

This manual is not “one size fits all,” and language therapy still needs to be individualized for the student as is pointed out by the author. The goals and activities listed are derived from the author's extensive hands-on experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Some of the activities might require modification for students with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, visual impairment, or color blindness.

This is an excellent resource for speech language pathologists, intervention specialists, teachers, and caregivers of children with language delays. This book will be a particularly useful tool for graduate students, residents, and fellows training in speech language pathology, special education, as well as developmental and behavioral pediatrics as a “go to” resource when making speech and language recommendations to families.

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