Routines-Based Early Intervention Guidebook

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Successfully increase the communication in young children by enriching their daily routines!

These routines-based early intervention activities contain parent strategies, instructions for signed communication, and developmental norms.

Practitioners love the easy data collection, easy to follow session plans, and resources for parents.  Parents love the progress their children make with the easy to follow instructions for labeling items and actions, modeling phrases, imitating sounds, and expressing preferences.  Preview book here.

Based on the experiences and research of bilingual speech-language pathologists, these lessons have been field-tested with families to ensure progress, satisfaction, and reduced planning time for professionals. Meets the needs of children with many different disabilities: Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, language delays, and children from different language backgrounds (English, Spanish, and bilingual English/Spanish).

  • 12 Routines-Based Early Intervention Activities – each daily routine lends itself to teaching a specific strategy
  • Developmental Norms Charts
  • In English and Spanish
  • Many opportunities to label items and actions, model phrases, imitate sounds, express preferences
  • Parent Strategies
  • Signing Instructions
  • Easy Data Collection 
This product was formally SMILE for Young Children and has been updated and expanded in this new book.


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  • Developmental guidelines for speech and language development in young children Answers to frequently asked questions by parents on myths about bilingualism
  • References from current research on bilingualism and speech and language development
  • An outline of a sample treatment session
  • Data collection sheets for tracking progress

Each chapter includes:

  • A Session Focus: A communication focus (e.g., requesting) is included with each session, as well as ways to increase the child’s ability to improve communication.
  • SMILE Strategy and Goal Pages: Repetition, cueing, and gesturing techniques accompany important vocabulary for each activity.
  • Session Activities: Each session includes an activity for the parent to practice new communication skills in an interactive, fun way.
  • Signing Pages: Important signs and instructions with photographs accompany every lesson.
  • Materials for parents in BOTH English and Spanish!

This program grew out of the experiences of fourteen bilingual speech-language pathologists who have provided services in home-based early childhood intervention programs. The 12 concise sessions are the result of field testing with a variety of families in the early childhood program. Session content and design were influenced by interviews with parents, speech-language pathologists, and early childhood interventionists.

Speech-Language Pathologists:

Each session is designed to increase the speech and language abilities of children from birth into their early years of school. The entire program is based on research on child development, was field-tested by fourteen bilingual SLPs, and is set up for easy data collection.


SMILE includes rationales for our approach to language development to be shared with families, and information on speech development and the use of signs as a bridge to developing oral language skills. SMILE has 12 sessions to use across 24 months, in both Spanish and English, with a data collection system and parent materials. Interventionists were specific in what they wanted to see in new intervention materials and the SMILE program has delivered.


Parents have reported a great increase in their ability to work with their child when using the SMILE program. The book is easy to follow and contains developmental milestones for every age.

The content of this program was driven by theory and research in the fields of child development, communication development, and early intervention. The lessons and activities in this book are based on Vygotsky’s social learning theories. Social learning theories view social interaction as critical to development. Therefore, the families involved in early childhood intervention programs are seen as the child’s guide and the child is the apprentice who learns from the adult models (Rogoff, 1995). Every strategy and every activity in this book incorporate the family as having an important role in social interacts.

A recent study of Mexican immigrant mother’s perceptions of their children’s intervention (Kummerer, Lopez-Deyna & Hughes, 2007) found that most of the mothers in the study felt that therapists were just playing with their children. By helping families recognize the important role of play in cognitive and motor development, they can better contribute to their child’s speech and language growth by increasing their involvement in play. Additionally, teaching how individual cognitive skills contribute to language development, such as understanding that objects still exist when they are out of sight, will encourage families to work on those cognitive skills in play.