Teach2Talk, LLC produces educational resources for children which target core speech and language, play and
social skills using techniques including video modeling.
Our focus at teach2talk™, which is a collaboration between a practicing speech language pathologist and the mother of a child with autism, is on developing high–quality educational products for young children in a wide range of chronological and developmental ages which are based on peer–reviewed, evidence–based scientific research, tested and validated in a clinical therapy setting, and making those products available to parents, teachers, therapists and other professionals.
Jenny McCarthy is a The New York Times® best–selling author, actress, producer and comedian. More importantly, she is “mommy” to her son Evan, who received a diagnosis of autism with associated language, social, and play delays in 2005. As a mom, Jenny understands every mother’s desire to help their children achieve their full potential, and was frustrated by how difficult it was as a parent to find quality educational products which she could use by herself to help her child in her own home. She resolved to use her experience and connections in the motion picture and publishing industries to produce quality educational products for moms everywhere, and in collaboration with Sarah, teach2talk™ is the result. Learn more about Jenny’s experiences as the mother of an autistic child in her newest book, Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. She was recently named spokesperson of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), a non-profit organization of families with autism helping families with autism.
Sarah Clifford Scheflen, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech language pathologist who specializes in providing therapy to children, including children with autism spectrum disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. Sarah works in a clinic at a major research university in Los Angeles, California and also has a private practice. While working with children, Sarah uses a variety of techniques, including video modeling, to teach speech and language, social and other pragmatic, and play skills. One of her clients is Evan, Jenny’s son, who has made significant progress using the techniques incorporated in teach2talk’s™ products.
teach2talk’s™ produces educational resources for children which target core speech and language, play and social skills using techniques including video modeling. Our products are created by a practicing speech language pathologist based on her clinical experience and her review of the peer–reviewed research of others, but are designed to be used by parents on their own without outside assistance.
At teach2talk™, we strive to introduce new and innovative products and to improve our existing products based on the latest developments in scientific research and on feedback from the parents, teachers, therapists and other professionals who use our products. Our current products include:
- our teach2play™ series of videos, designed to help children progress through all the developmental levels of play;
- our teach2talk™ WH Questions! series of videos, which can help teach children how to answer wh– format questions, such as “where” questions;
- our teach2talk™ Social Skills! series of videos, which can help teach key social skills, such as sharing with other children and siblings; and
- our teach2talk™ Nouns! series of videos, which can help build children’s’ functional vocabulary by teaching a variety of basic nouns.
- our teach2talk™ Verbs! series of videos, which can help build children’s’ functional vocabulary by teaching a variety of basic verbs.
When Evan was first diagnosed with autism, Jenny went into full–scale protective mother and “Google® Researcher” mode. In the difficult first days after Evan’s diagnosis, one of the things she searched for online were educational videos for Evan, but there weren’t a lot out there, and she wasn’t particularly happy with the few products she could find.
While working with Evan, Sarah used video modeling to teach him play skills. Evan made impressive gains in the play skills modeled for him – some of which were skills with which he wasn’t making much progress in face to face therapy!
For example, when Evan was being taught play skills in a one on one therapy setting (not incorporating video modeling), he had a hard time grasping the concept that an object used in play could stand in for another object – for example, pretending that a cup is a hat for an action figure, or that a wooden block is a chair for a doll. Evan would stubbornly insist “no, that is not a chair, it is a block,” and just couldn’t make the leap. However, when Evan was shown play incorporating substitution of one object for another using video modeling, he immediately started using pretend substitutions in his play in a wide variety of contexts.
Evan made so much progress that Sarah decided to initiate her own formal research project to study the use of video modeling to teach play skills to children. Evan, and other children in Sarah’s study, showed impressive gains in their play skills through video modeling techniques, and even began generalizing their new play skills outside of the therapy setting to their daily routines. This was consistent with research conducted by others showing that video modeling is a very effective method to teach new concepts to children, including children with autism and other developmental disorders.
Jenny and Sarah also created additional videos to teach other language concepts, such as answering questions, sharing and having conversations, using video modeling and the other therapeutic techniques which are used in teach2talk’s™ video products.
Because Evan and Sarah’s other clients made such impressive improvements using the techniques incorporated in teach2play’s™ products, Jenny and Sarah got excited about the potential of creating professionally produced products based on those techniques and making them available to other children and their families. After a lot of planning, research, discussion and preparation, teach2talk™ was born.
As the team behind teach2talk™, Jenny contributes her first hand knowledge of the entertainment and publishing industries, and her very personal understanding of what parents whose children need extra help want and need, while Sarah contributes her extensive clinical experience and understanding of children’s speech and language, social, and play development. Together, they are teach2talk™.
Jenny’s and Sarah’s hope is that teach2talk’s™ products will help other children as much as they have helped Jenny’s son and Sarah’s other clients, and will provide a useful complement to traditional therapy and teaching methods, which can both be used by parents in their own homes and on their own schedules, as well as administered by teachers, therapists and other professionals to supplement their current therapy and instruction programs.