First Words: A Parent's Step-by-Step Guide to Helping a Child with Speech and Language Delays gives parents the information they need to allow them to stimulate their child’s speech and language. Parents are given actual samples of how children with autism and other language delays respond differently to questions and how their responses can be redirected in order to start building connections. Offenbacher explains terms such as speech and language, typical language delay, PDD-Pervasive Developmental Delay, ASD-Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and ABA-Applied Behavioral Analysis. The book outlines the typical developmental steps of speech and language acquisition, and where parents should begin when starting to help their child. It suggests the types of toys, and experiences that stimulate language, as well as a floor plan to arrange a “work area” and learning center in their home. It provides check lists for them to evaluate their child every step of the way and set meaningful and attainable goals.
This book is not meant to replace professional intervention. But it guides parents in becoming a para-speech partner in maximizing the stimulation their child receives so they develop skills for communicating.