8 Reference Books Every SLP Needs
Whether you're building a private practice or working in the schools, a hospital, or an SNF, don't forget to stock it with the tools you need to do your job well! While your practice may specialize in a specific disorder or part of our field, we need to make sure we stay just as well-rounded and evidence-based in every area- by having the resources available to consult when needed. I've compiled a list of the reference books that have helped me make the most informed decisions I can in my private practice.
Some links included for your convenience are Amazon Affiliate links. Disclosure policy here.
Note: I do not agree with every single thing on every single page of these books. I believe that their evidence-based portions are more useful as a whole, which is why I am recommending them here. These are books that I personally have on my bookshelf and use in my therapy planning.
Assessment and Treatment of Phonological Disorders in Children: A Dual-Level Text by Adriana Pena-Brooks and M.N. Hedge. An oldie (from 2007), but with great practical tips and information about articulation disorders and how to treat them.
Eliciting Sounds: Techniques and Strategies for Clinicians by Wayne Secord, Suzanne E Boyce, Robert A Fox, JoAnne S Donohue, and Richard E Shine. If you don't have this from grad school, go grab it immediately! This handy little guide gives you multiple tips to elicit every vowel and consonant in the English language. The spiral bound version is small and perfect for tucking in your SLP bag (pro tip: it fits in all of the inside pockets in my favorite SLP bag, the Victorinox Werks Traveler)
Functional Phonology: A Language-Based Approach for Treating Speech Intelligibility Problems in Very Young Children by Laura Mize. This is a wonderful, helpful book laid out in a helpful sequence including guidelines to determine if a child is ready for articulation therapy as well as how to prioritize your goals. If you work with toddlers or children who are very delayed/functioning at a toddler level, check out all of her manuals.
Easy-to-Say First Words: A Focus on Final Consonants by Cara Tambellini Danielson, an SLP.
Difference or Disorder: Understanding Speech and Language Patterns in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Population by Dr Ellen S Kester. Dr Kester runs the Bilinguistics clinic in Austin, TX which specializes in bilingual therapy. This book is a treasure of the speech AND language differences to look for in 12 different languages from Spanish to Farsi, including African-American English. It has comparison charts and reads like a book, not a textbook.
Language Disorders from Infancy Through Adolescence: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Communicating by Rhea Paul and Courtenay Norbury. This book is worth the price just for the helpful charts alone. Lots if excellent illustrations and clear organization make this a very useful language resource.
Piecing It Together: A Systematic Approach Toward More Effective Language Therapy by Martha Frimer Cheslow, MS, CCC-SLP. This is a well-researched, concise, and systematic method of addressing language therapy. I have personally struggled with when to address specific goals in language therapy, and this book lays out the sequence in 16 different skill areas, progressing from least to most complex. It includes helpful illustrations and even sample goals.
Motor Speech Disorders/AAC
Motor Speech Disorders: Substrates, Differential Diagnosis, and Management by Joseph R Duffy. Is it bad that I loved this textbook in grad school? The "differential diagnosis" part was the most helpful for me, since so many motor speech disorders can seem similar at first. This is the newest edition.
This is not nearly an exhaustive list of the books that can help us in our private practices, but it's a good start!
Want even more helpful books? Check out my Reference Books list on Amazon!
What books would you recommend that I add? Leave a comment below!