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Episode #21: Speech Development with Speech Therapist, Jeannette Washington

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Today’s podcast is with speech therapist, Jeannette Washington, M.Ed., who I met four years ago on Instagram! Jeannette Washington has worked as a speech and language pathologist, software engineer and educator. She empowers those with special abilities to pursue employment in the tech industry. Jeannette’s love for technology is documented in her book “Technical Difficulties: Why Dyslexic Narratives Matter in Tech.” Currently she works within the intersection of technology, accessibility and social justice.

Jeanette and I have a conversation about milestones in speech for your child and how to help your child through that process. We talk about comparison, intuition with your child’s speech needs and Jeanette’s expertise with speech therapy. I also talked a bit about my own personal story and my child’s story with speech development. Jeanette even gives us her recommendations for strategies to help your child understand enunciating and articulating words.

So brew yourself a cup of tea and listen in on the full podcast here:


In this episode, we learn about:

  • What is a speech therapist? (1:38)

  • Renee’s personal story with speech development (2:38)

  • If parents are feeling unsure about their child’s speech development, who should they contact? (5:28)

  • Some developmental speech norms you can look out for younger children. (5:49)

  • Milestones and norms are important, but also a guideline. (7:00)

  • What’s the #1 question Jeanette gets as a speech therapist? (8:36)

  • Research on speech norms in a study by McLeod & Crowe in 2018. (Read the study here) (10:38)

  • Strategies to help your child with speech - we can’t expect our kids to be able to say all of these words if we’re not talking, playing or reading to them. (11:55)

  • Consider looking up books on your phone on YouTube and talk about those books with your child. (17:23)

  • All the different types of exceptional littles. (19:50)

  • Why does speech even matter? (20:50)

  • The importance of closed captioning online. (23:00)

  • More about Jeanette’s book, “Technical Difficulties: Why Dyslexic Narratives Matter in Tech.” (24:15)

  • Jeanette’s take on the question, “If I get my child a device, will my child just rely on the device?” (24:48)

  • Reminder to teachers that speech and language pathologists can come in and do an observation if you have any concerns about your students. (31:04)

Follow along with Jeanette over on Instagram @bearly_articulating. Head on over to Instagram tag both @bearly_articulating and @themagicoflittles with any speech questions you may have!

Send me your thoughts, questions, and feedback at!

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