(I was privileged to receive this product in return for my honest review of it after using it with my 5 year old son. The product in the following review can be found at Amazon or at the author's own site here, where you can also find free tips on her blog.)
I am a homeschooling mother of 9 children, and they have all developed at different rates as far as their speech ability was concerned. However, as my son grew older, I knew he was harder to understand than any of his older siblings had been at that age. I found Superstar Speech Expanded Edition by Debbie Lott, read the reviews, and thought it sounded like a perfect fit for us. The troubles with understanding my son's speech were founded in his articulation issues, not in any physical impediments, which would have instead required visits with an expert instead of self-tutoring at home. Superstar Speech Expanded Edition contains several tools to enable a parent to help their child work to correct articulation errors, all within the comfort and privacy of their own home. Debbie Lott is a licensed speech pathologist, so has applied her expertise and knowledge to give parents a tool to work with their child on their own, or to give extra home practice for what their child may be learning with a speech therapist already. Her own homeschooled daughter drew the illustrations for the book, so while not professionally drawn in nature, they are something that a child can relate to!
There is a section that has a speech articulation test with clear instructions for the parent to narrow down which errors are a struggle for their child. I found this interesting as I had not considered whether my son struggled with a certain sound more or less depending upon its position in a word (beginning, middle or end). I appreciated that the book also laid out what age a child should typically have mastered each of several trouble sounds, so that I knew that some of my son's articulation errors should not be as much of a concern yet, and also knew which ones to concentrate on first.
There is a wonderful variety in this book. For each sound or pair of sounds that may need to be worked on, it has specific instructions and suggestions for helping your child understand how each sound is formed, a word list using those words, a practice section, phrases or sentences, and activities to make it fun. There are also many, many pages at the back of the book that contain an interesting collection of different games and picture cards, that can be pulled out to use as is, or photocopied for lamination if desired. I was able to tailor some of the games to the sounds my son needed to work on, even though not originally intended for those sounds. This book is versatile and easy to adapt.
My final assessment is that I would definitely recommend this speech therapy tool to other parents to use on their own or as a supplement. My son's speech articulation errors have been improving, and I can see it will only progress with more practice. Like anything else, it will take time and effort, but it will be worth it as your child is able to communicate more successfully. My son enjoyed picking which game he wanted to try next after doing his practice activities. He was having fun, and did not even realize we were "working" on his speech...he would even come to me in the morning and beg to be able to "play his games"! Another thing worth mentioning is that this book can work for more than one child if there is a need, as it can be tailored to fit each individual's needs. The cost is very reasonable for what is contained in this one book...I highly recommend it!