Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Super Star Speech: Speech Therapy Made Simple!

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Our story:
Our family has had several children who were slower to develop their letter sounds than many children.  Though they are never truly delayed, they are always at the end of the normal range with a large number of incorrect letter sounds.   Because they aren't actually delayed, I have taken a somewhat relaxed approach to therapy with them. 

When our 13 yo daughter was young, she had some in-home speech therapy provided by the school district's early development program.  When she reached Kindergarten age, we were told she couldn't continue unless she was enrolled in public school.  I knew that wasn't supposed to be true, but I decided it wasn't worth fighting with them about it.  I purchased a parent-led speech therapy curriculum and began to work with her on my own.  That was 9 years ago. 

Though the book that I had was helpful in assessing whether my children were delayed or not, and it gave me a basic approach for teaching the correct sounds, it didn't provide a wide variety of activities to use.  It was also a little bland.  We usually began each year with testing our children, started some therapy activities with them, and then slacked off as the year progressed.  Thankfully, they continued to develop at their own pace and every year they showed progress.

Our experience with Super Star Speech:
I was excited when I found out that the Homeschool Crew was going to have a chance to review the new Super Star Speech curriculum by Deborah Lott, M. Ed., a licensed speech language pathologist and homeschool Mom!  I was eager to compare it with what I'd previously used, albeit loosely.  Our family was offered the chance to review it, and I downloaded all four of the Super Star Speech e-books.

I began by testing all of my children who'd ever struggled with their speech.  My 13 year old no longer had any articulation problems (though I know that she still needs to slow down in her speech and has to watch her 'th' sounds when in a hurry.)  My 10 year old and 9 year old also passed all the letter sounds, though slowing down is also an issue with them. 
They also all have an odd speech trait that I'm working on with them that wasn't included in the test.  Words that end with the 'air' or 'eer' sounds are often pronounced more as 'ur'.  For instance, chair sounds a bit like chur.  It's odd, and we're working on it, but it's not really addressed in any of my speech therapy books.  The speech therapist we once worked with in our home had never experienced that particular issue before, and she didn't address it with my daughter at that time, either.
Then I tested my 4 year old and 6 year old.  They both have multiple letter sounds that they mispronounce, though neither one is delayed according to the articulation sounds chart.   However, the sheer number of incorrect sounds they each have makes them much harder to understand.

One thing I'd never seen before was the Sound Error Analysis chart in Super Star Speech.  It showed me that all of my son's trouble sounds were those made with the tongue.  Specifically the fricative tongue sounds (those made while slowly releasing breath).  I'd never even heard of fricative sounds before, or realized that all his incorrect sounds had a connection like that! 

The Super Star Speech e-book then teaches you how to develop a therapy plan for your child, create lesson plans, and track their progress.  Word lists to use in therapy are offered for each sound, as well as instructions on how to teach the child to form the sound correctly.  The book ends with  a few game suggestions, some fun game sheets, practice pages, and picture cards to use in the therapy.

In addition, Deborah Lott has developed 3 other books which focus on specific sounds:

  • Super Star R & L

  • Super Star Ch,  J & Th

  • Super Star S,  Z &  Sh

The more focused e-books each contain longer word lists for the letters, more practice sheets, and more games to use with your child.  This is a lifesaver for those (like me) who are too tired or too busy to be creative and design their own activities.   They also include the tips on teaching proper sound formation and how to prepare therapy plans, which were originally shared in Super Star Speech.

I'll still be taking a relaxed approach to our speech therapy, but Super Star Speech has given me more options for keeping it fun and interesting.

My opinion:
The Super Star Speech books are very user friendly.  They are well-organized, easily understood, and easy to apply in the home.  They provide more activity ideas and suggestions (especially those focused on specific sounds) than another at-home speech therapy book I've used, and they are affordable! 

Permission is granted for the buyer to photocopy (for personal use) the reproducible forms, lesson plans, test response sheets, and the games and photo cards in the appendix.  This makes it a fully reusable curriculum, which is helpful for families like ours with multiple children with speech issues.
The printed books can be sold or given to others when you are done with them, but the e-books can not.

Because you are making your own lesson plans for your child, it is very versatile.  You can take a relaxed approach or a very structured approach to your child's therapy.  The fun games help to keep it enjoyable and the number available to choose from keeps it fresh for the child even if it's done daily (which it isn't in our home).

I definitely recommend Deborah Lott's Super Star Speech program. 

Product details:
Super Star Speech is available at the Super Star Speech website in three different formats:  ring-bound books, spiral-bound books, and downloadable e-books.  Super Star Speech is available for $22.95 in ring-bound, $18.95 in spiral-bound, or $12.95 as an e-book.  Shipping on the printed books is a flat rate of $3.95.   Super Star Speech can also be bought bundled together with the Super Star R & L book, as well as the Super Star S, Z, & Sh book. 

  • The ring-bound 3-book bundle is available for $49.95.

  • The spiral bound 3-book bundle is available for $38.95.

  • The e-book version of the 3-book bundle is available for $27.00 as an instant download. 

  • Each e-book is sold separately for $12.95.

  • The fourth book  (Super Star Ch, J, and Th) is currently only available as an e-book,  $12.95.

The Super Star Speech website also has sample pageshelpful speech tips and an informative blog.  Deborah Lott has also created inexpensive, fun games to supplement your language arts, history, and science studies. 

If you're concerned about your child's speech, be sure to check out the Super Star Speech website.  I'm sure you'll find something helpful!

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,


  1. Thanks for your review! I enjoyed reading about your experiences with Super Star Speech as well as with other options. Your /r/ issue is unusual--If I listened to kids who altered the r-controlled vowels like that, I would assume that it was a dialect issue and that their parents did the same!

  2. The last comment was from me--Debbie Lott!

  3. Thanks, Debbie ... well, I don't pronounce words like that, and I haven't heard my DH do it. Though I'll start listening more closely to him. I know he had some speech therapy in elementary school.

    I have wondered if they are just passing it down to each other after our 2nd DD did that. Our first DD did not do that, and had no speech difficulties. But they are so close in age, always together, and interact so much ... I wonder if they pass it down to each other.

    Today, I heard my 4 yo DD say whale that way, too ... so with an /l/ sound at the end. It's something about getting from the long a sound (and long e sound) to the /r/ and /l/ which are back of the tongue sounds (as your book taught me).

    I have noticed when I say those words, the mouth shape changes as you end the word. In order to help them learn how to say it correctly, I've started telling them to say "chai-er", making it almost 2 syllables, so they can hear the correct sound. I need to be more consistent in working on this issue since it is the only remaining issue in my 10 and 9 year old children.

    Thanks so much for your comment, Debbie!



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