Literary Resources on Speech-Language Pathology
Children’s Books About Communication Disorders
Promoting Disability Awareness Through Children’s Books
Pat Mervine.com provides resources on disability awareness for speech-language pathologists (SLPs), teachers, parents, and community group leaders. My name is Patricia Mervine, and I educate people on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and speech-language therapy through children’s stories.
As an SLP myself, I am passionate about promoting awareness of communication disorders. Some of you may already know me from a previous site I created called Speaking of Speech.com.
Professionally, I’m known as Patricia L. Mervine, M.A., CCC-SLP, but my friends call me Pat. I am an ASHA-certified speech/language pathologist, specializing in assistive technology and augmentative communication. For more than 25 years, I have dedicated my career to improving the lives of children and young adults who have mild to profound communication disorders.
Over the years, I have authored more than a dozen books and CDs of speech/language therapy materials and presented at local, state, and national conferences. I have also created the very popular website, SpeakingofSpeech.com.
My children’s books were born out of my experiences with individuals who communicate with pictures, switches, and speech-generating devices and students who have disorders in articulation, receptive and expressive language, speech fluency, and social skills.
Although the names in the books have been changed, I have worked with many "Katies" and "Matthews" over the years. I also have experiences with quite a few wacky “speech teachers,” but none, to my knowledge, ever swallowed dice! (By the way, some SLPs don't like being called “speech teacher,” but just try to rhyme a book with “speech/language pathologist!”)
Words I Live By
Let Katie Help You Promote Disability Awareness in Your School and Community!
My book, “How Katie Got a Voice: (and a cool new nickname),” is about a new student at Cherry Street School who finds a way to fit in with her classmates despite her disabilities.
The Reader’s Theater script and Discussion Guide will engage your students in a conversation about disabilities, friendships, and inclusion.
…the entire team would be trained in how to program and use my AAC system. My “voice” shouldn't be taken away from me, just because an adult is absent or busy. Oh, and a current backup system would be much appreciated when my device goes down.
…my AAC system (if electronic) would be kept charged and positioned for me to use at all times and in all locations. Other kids can talk all day—in gym, at lunch, and recess—so don't take my “voice” away when I am out of the classroom.
…everyone would give me enough time to say what is on my mind. If I am communicating too slowly for you, figure out a way for me to get my messages out more quickly!
…everyone would give me a chance to talk—not just to answer questions, but also to ask questions, make comments, and share what is going on in my head and in my life!
…you would give me time to explore my device to figure out what it can do for me before you decide that it “doesn't work” for me. That includes letting me make mistakes and even be annoying with it. Hey, I'm learning a new language here, and it's not going to happen overnight! The more you model, the quicker I will learn.
…that my AAC system has way more verbs and comments than nouns. When you fill my system with nouns, you are setting me up for mostly stimulus/response interactions, and I have way more to say than that! Besides, nouns are boring. Verbs and comments are where the action is!
…you would stop emphasizing spelling and grammar so much, and just let me get my thoughts out! My spelling and grammar will improve with time, but I shouldn't have to wait until they do for me to communicate effectively.
…you would listen to other kids my age to hear how and what they are talking about, then give me access to those same topics, expressions, and voice. No offense, but I want to sound like a kid my age, not my speech therapist.
…you would find a way to get me actively involved in every activity. This means being creative and adapting your lessons and routines. It will take your time and energy but the effort will mean the world to me.
…everyone would see me for what I can say and do. When you can't see beyond what I CAN'T do, you are limiting my life.
Check Out My Books
A wacky Speech Teacher starts swallowing everything she needs to do speech/language therapy in her school! What could possibly happen? Better look out when those dice begin to roll!
"There Was a Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice" is a delightfully silly way to introduce students to many of the materials used in speech/language therapy and ends with a
Speech Room Scavenger Hunt.
Matthew has a problem. His brain thinks one thing, but his mouth says another! He can't participate in class discussions. He can't ask for a snack. He can't even
say his own name! Then Matthew meets the school speech therapist....
This delightfully illustrated book is a fun way to introduce students, teachers, and parents to the process of articulation therapy.
Have you met Katie?
Katie's story is told by her fourth-grade classmate who wants to be friends with Katie but doesn't know how. Everyone in the school has a nickname that reflects individual hobbies and personalities. When Katie comes to the school, her classmates are eager to involve her in their activities and learn what is special about her. This proves to be quite a challenge. How can Katie fit in with her classmates when she can't even talk?
How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname) celebrates our uniqueness and also highlights how sometimes a little help is needed to show us how much we are alike. Read this book in the classroom, in therapy, at home, and to youth groups to open a discussion about differences, acceptance, disability etiquette, and overcoming challenges.
Get in Touch
To find out more information about my children’s stories, please send me a message.