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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Speech Therapy No More is a social issues storybook for children, grades k-3, written by Heather Graham. Dave Coolman was thrilled when his wife, Kathy, told him that she was expecting their first child. He couldn’t wait for the baby to arrive, and he hoped it would be a boy. When the baby was born, they named him Eli, and Dave decided that he’d quit his job to become a full-time daddy for his little boy. He loved watching his little man as Eli learned to crawl and dance and play. Eli was smart and seemed to understand everything his parents said to him. When it was time for him to go to kindergarten, however, they noticed a big change in Eli’s outlook on life. Dave and Kathy knew that he repeated words and had trouble sometimes with stuttering, but it didn’t seem to bother him until he was around other children. Suddenly, Eli felt different than the rest of his peers, and he became shy and withdrawn. His teachers began to worry that he had a learning difficulty, but then suggested that a speech therapist might help Eli. Eli and his parents didn’t like the idea at all, but they were willing to do anything to help their boy, but would it work?
Heather Graham’s Speech Therapy No More addresses a crucially important issue for parents and teachers. Speech impediments can drastically impact a child’s attitude towards school, fellow classmates and life in general. While speech classes and therapy may not always work, a supportive and informed parent or caregiver can make sure that the child does not feel inferior to their peers or different. Working with the child’s teachers can ensure that each adult is aware of any bullying or other social problems and help guide the child in a positive manner. Graham’s story admirably points out each of these issues and also addresses the instance where speech therapy is not effective. By having the child focus on their gifts and ambitions, they can build self-esteem and feel good about themselves, things that may automatically reduce the incidence of stuttering and repetition that stress can exacerbate. This book introduces the subject in a caring and compassionate manner, and discusses the feelings and frustrations that those with speech impediments may have to deal with in their daily lives. Speech Therapy No More is a most highly recommended book for children and their caregivers.