From S to Spiderman: The 6 Stages of Speech Therapy

There’s no doubt that learning to speak clearly is a surprisingly complicated process. When I deliver workshops on speech development, we talk through the individual skills involved and discuss how these typically develop. And as we start to think about all of the careful listening, processing, planning and muscle movements involved, we often find renewed respect for how much our children are learning in these early years.

When a child starts Speech Therapy sessions, we work through many of these individual aspects of speech development, so that a child can build their skills and master new sounds and words over time. This video gives you a brief rundown of the typical steps involved, and answers the common question: “If they can make the /s/ sound, why can’t they say Spiderman?”

The 6 Stages of Speech Therapy

Does your child struggle with some particular sounds? Which ones are they trying to figure out at the moment? For a few simple ideas to get you started, check out this post.

Activity Ideas for Early Speech Development

Some of the very young children who come to me for Speech and Language Therapy need help to master the early building blocks of words. Some of their early speech sounds haven’t yet developed and so families and I work together to find fun, creative, playful ways to encourage a child to practise some of these early sounds.

In this video I share with you some of the toys and everyday activities we use to help children practise these early parts of speech.

Activity Ideas for Early Speech Development

Is your child learning to master the building blocks of speech? What sounds are you helping them learn?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the process behind Speech Therapy sessions, you can check out the stages of therapy in this blog post.

How to Help Speech Delay


All children take time to learn how to speak clearly. They go through typical periods of sounding unclear, or ‘simplifying’ difficult sounds. You might be wondering if your child is making the right sounds for their age. You might be wondering if there is anything more you can do to help them improve their speech.

In this 7.30 minute video I share five questions to help you better understand what to expect of your child’s speech and how to help their development.

How to help speech delay

I wonder: what sounds does your child find difficult? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Books are a great way to model sounds to your child. I shared a few of my favourites here.

Before You Teach the Alphabet: helping your child be ‘school ready’

Before You Teach the Alphabet: helping your child be 'school ready'

Parents often ask me how best to introduce their child to the alphabet. Whilst it’s good to introduce children to letters, there is a lot of early sound awareness skills that are more fundamental than knowing the letters of the alphabet. Children need to notice the sounds within words so they can start applying this knowledge when exploring books or crayons.

Having a good awareness of the sounds that make up each word, understanding their structure and spotting patterns are all important early literacy skills. These sound awareness skills not only support reading and writing, but also play a part in how we learn new vocabulary.

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Why Early Speech Development is Like Learning Russian

Why Early Speech Development is Like Learning Russian

A few years ago I found myself grappling with Russian pronunciation for a song my choir was rehearsing: a fast piece by Sergej Tanějev involving a lot of unfamiliar sounds. It’s a challenge to say the least. With my Speech and Language Therapist hat on, I was struck by the similarities between my own attempts to speak Russian and children’s early speech development.

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