• All
  • Annual Appeal
  • Blog
  • News
  • Stories
  • The Chatter

David’s Story

April is Autism Acceptance Month! CHAT fully accepts and embraces the Autistic community’s communication styles and preferences while advocating for inclusion in all spaces. Read more about CHAT’s work in this space with David’s story.

Winter & Spring 2024

Voices of Value Neurodiversity-Affirming Approach: What it is and Why it Matters CHAT is a different kind of organization. When we say we are a resource to children with few […]

Jamal’s Story

Valentine’s Day puts the focus on romantic love and connections, but there are many kinds of connections worth highlighting! That’s why we chose this month to share the story of […]

A Special Gift!

In this giving season, we’re thrilled to convey, a tale of a gift, directed our way: ‘Twas a typical Wednesday, Helene did prepare, To see a young client with something […]

Giving Thanks

Dear CHAT Supporters, In this season of giving thanks, I write today to say that CHAT is thankful for you. Thank you for the time you take to read our […]

Give to CHAT this holiday season!

CHAT can’t do this work without your support. Give the gift of communication to more children.

Charlotte’s Web

It’s October, and you just never know what Halloween month will bring…just as CHAT staff never know what each day will bring. One of our SLPs, Charlotte, started working at […]

CHAT Hosts Fundraising Cocktail Party in Washington DC

In September, friends and colleagues came together to learn more about CHAT and how we help children overcome barriers to communication.

Maggie’s Story

Imagine being so excited to come to therapy, you are willing to skip your vollevball game… As typically happens when you enter high school, Maggie’s social calendar filled right up

Help CHAT in our Expansion into El Service

It’s back to school time! For many children it is a time of excitement and wonder. For others. it can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Every year, CHAT […]

Nathaniel’s Story

“Problem child.” What a label to give a child, but that was how Nathaniel was known at school. When Nathaniel started school therapy with his CHAT SLP, she noticed that […]

Isaac’s Story

Communication is the key to conveying one’s basic needs, to the success of social interactions, to the perception of one’s cognitive abilities, and to so many more aspects of an […]

2022 Impact Report

This report details some of the past year’s highlights of our work towards communication justice – effecting change for under resourced and under-represented people whose communication disorders and differences contribute […]

Winter & Spring 2023

Voices of Value Interview with Treasyri Williams Wood, Director of Clinical Education at DePaul University Tell me about your current role, and how you got here. I am the Director of Clinical […]

Izzy’s Story

Advocacy is our middle name. We say this because it is true in several ways – advocacy is the “A” in our name, but it is also at the forefront […]

Tony’s Story

We hear it all the time from parents that CHAT is different, that CHAT SLPs really take the time to get to know their clients and tailor therapy to each […]

Jax’s Story

Jax was 17 months old when he started reading. He quickly became infatuated with the alphabet but wasn’t interacting with his parents or exploring new things and couldn’t answer yes […]

Give the gift of communication

All I want for Christmas… Such a well-known phrase. But such a hurdle for a child with limited vocabulary. One year ago, four-year-old Maya was not able to complete this […]

Jordyn’s Story

‘Tis the season… for college applications and questions of “what’s next?” For high school juniors and seniors, this is a time of many possibilities.  But what happens when a student […]

Give to CHAT this holiday season!

Over the last few months, we have shared with you some of the impact that CHAT has on the children we serve: children with few – if any – other […]

Annual Appeal – Corey’s Story

Every day, CHAT works to serve children with few – if any – other options for speech and language therapy. One such child is Corey, a 16-year-old from the west […]

Devon’s Story

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) help students develop their communication skills. But often, and core to our mission, CHAT SLPs serve another person a student’s life – to advocate for their […]

Kayla’s Story

We’ve all just lived through the annual ritual of back to school. While many students were busy picking out their first-day outfits and comparing schedules with friends, others faced the […]

CHAT Joins Salaam Community Wellness Center’s Inaugural Integrative Health and Wellness Expo

On August 27th, members of the CHAT team (including CEO Karine Fiore, SLP Shanah Slade, SLPA Nadia Ibrahim, and Associate Board member Myles Francis) took part in Salaam Community Wellness […]

Summer 2022

Voices of Value Interview with E. Patrick Johnson, Dean of the School of Communication at Northwestern University E. Patrick Johnson is the Dean of the School of Communication at Northwestern […]

CHAT – Life Changing Speech Therapy Chosen as Comcast/NBC5 Projection Innovation Grantee

LOMBARD – July 13, 2022 – CHAT – Life Changing Speech Therapy (CHAT) has been chosen as one of eight Chicago region non-profits to receive “Project Innovation” grants from the Comcast […]

CHAT Raises Money Through Giving DuPage Days 2022

For the first time ever, CHAT participated in Giving DuPage Days. This was a five-day virtual fundraiser (May 2nd to May 6th) to spur giving to over 95 local non-profits. […]

Fall/Winter 2021

Therapy Tales It’s About the Kids and Equity Working for CHAT means more than simply offering speech-language services. It’s about effecting change for under-resourced and under-represented children whose communication disorders […]

CHAT SLP Team Gathers for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

We closed our clinic on Monday, October 11, in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and gathered our staff for team-building. This day is particularly relevant to our mission as a nonprofit dedicated […]

Summer 2021

Therapy Tales CHAT Therapy Brings Hope to Parents of Hyperlexic Learners Parents are thrilled and cheer when their kindergartner or first grader begins to sound out and read the words […]

Chat’s Speech-Language Therapy Builds Confidence for Local Boy as He Serves as Honorary Guest for Clinic’s Grand Reopening

LOMBARD, ILLINOIS, MAY 28, 2021—There’s no doubt that outgoing Franco Bibbiano is a confident 14-year-old.  But that was not always true for this boy with Down syndrome who struggled to […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Echolalia

Most hyperlexic learners (HxLs) begin to communicate using delayed echolalia based on written language they have read. These scripts, or gestalts, can be meaningful and have purposeful intent! It is our job, as providers and caregivers, to figure out what our HxL is trying to communicate, and help them use the right language. We are lucky in that we can support our HxLs by modeling the target language by writing it down!

Speech Therapy and Mental Health Advocacy: What is Our Role?

This presentation discusses the top mental health conditions in children in the US currently–ADHD, emotional-behavioral issues/disorders, and anxiety/depression–and how these disorders may affect communication and/or co-occur with various speech and […]

API Heritage Month

May marks both Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Better Speech and Hearing Month! With heightened anti-Asian violence, India’s COVID-19 crisis, and the invisibilization of Pacific Island communities, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (API) have been thrust into the spotlight. Yet many Asian Americans […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Templates

Templates are consistent written prompts that help organize information or create a narrative. Templates are an important tool that can support writing, summarizing, retelling, storytelling, and so much more. Hyperlexic learners (HxLs) benefit from the patterned and predictable support that templates can provide!

The First Edition – Spring 2021

Welcome to the first edition of our e-Newsletter! Therapy Tales New Executive Functioning Program Teaches Kids Skills to Get Things Done Not many kids can tell you what they want to […]

Comprehensive and Inclusive View of Stuttering Management and Therapy

The importance of focusing more than fluency in stuttering therapy

Voice Hygiene for the Educational Professional

An examination of current research to support teachers with vocal disorders

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Scripts

Providing written scripts is one of the best ways to promote expressive language use for hyperlexic learners (HxLs). We can model whole sentences in writing that our HxLs can read and use functionally to express their wants, needs, knowledge, opinions, and so much more!

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Labeling and Describing

Many of our HxLs have incredible memory capacity that allows for immense vocabulary knowledge! We like to label items around our clinic, important parts of the story while reading a book, language concepts during therapy activities, and so much more! How do you support your hyperlexic learner with labeling and describing?!

Music & Language: Effectiveness of using Music in Speech Therapy

Music as a tool to support communication and language

Let’s CHAT About Hyperlexia: Social Narratives – Emotions and Feelings

In addition to teaching about new scenarios or experiences, social narratives can be written to teach about emotions and feelings. Social narratives, written with first-person language, can provide scripts for an “internal monologue” to support problem solving, emotional regulation, processing and understanding.

If friendship is the heart of love, then this therapy story may melt your heart.

Best friends in so many ways, two of CHAT’s high school students came to speech together every week and worked on social and pragmatic language skills. Then one day, they […]

Uplifting African American English (AAE)

CHAT uplifts African American English (AAE), a dialect shared by many Black communities in the United States. Complex and systematic, AAE not only reflects the intricacies of human language, but also the ingenuity of the speakers themselves. AAE was first developed by enslaved Africans during the Atlantic slave trade in the 1600s. While European enslavers intentionally grouped […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Social Narratives

Social narratives are written stories that introduce or explain a variety of scenarios while making it personal and relevant to the reader. Social narratives help to shape and provide an “inner monologue” for our HxLs who might otherwise have difficulty finding the language to talk to themselves!

Introduction to Neurodiversity

Please note that within this blog, CHAT will use identity-first language (i.e. Autistic person, rather than person with Autism), as many activists in the Autism community believe that this language choice reflects Autism’s centrality to their identity and disrupts the negative associations harbored against their diagnosis. We […]

Childhood Apraxia of Speech – Evaluation

How to evaluate and diagnose Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are sharing a personal post from our Executive Director, Karine Fiore, for whom this is a deeply personal topic. Please take a look […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Written Expectations

Expectations are behaviors or actions that are expected to occur. Written expectations should be constantly available and reviewed for the HxL to refer back to whenever needed.

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Written Schedules

Schedules are a staple of all therapy sessions, but are especially useful for hyperlexic learners (HxLs). Not only are they an effective tool during therapy, but they can be used to inspire positive transitions, increase the […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Written Supports

As the saying goes, “Write, write, write because [people] with hyperlexia will read, read, read” (Miller, 1993). There are many different ways we can structure our writing to connect with hyperlexic learners and support language growth!

The World has Lost a Ground-Breaking Pioneer: In Memory of Dr. Darold Treffert

Dr. Darold Treffert died unexpectedly on Monday, December 14th, 2020 at the age of 87.   Dr. Treffert’s compassion for children and their families continues to inspire all that knew him. He helped to re-shape how people viewed savants, autistic individuals, and hyperlexic learners […]

Matthew Rushin

As our country continues to amplify the injustice within our criminal legal system, CHAT uplifts youth with communication diagnoses who are funneled into this system—misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and wrongfully convicted. We stand in solidarity with […]

Choose CHAT on Giving Tuesday

What’s the saying? “Out of the mouth of babes?” Seven-year-old Jimmy took it to a whole new level with the help of a little technology. Please don’t try this at […]

Adolescent Language

Therapy ideas for targeting language in the adolescent population

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month! Please note that within this blog we are using the words Native and Indigenous, as is preferred by many Nations. However, individual Nations or people may have […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Gestalt Processing

Many Hyperlexic Learners are gestalt processors meaning they "learn in chunks." See how we can use gestalt processing and memory skills to shape echolalia into functional communication!

Dyslexia Awareness Month

October marks Dyslexia Awareness Month; yet for our CHAT team, empowering diverse learners is an ongoing commitment. While this month was only recently recognized by Congress in 2015, dyslexia affects […]

Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Introduction

Introducing our new Hyperlexia-focused blog series and its writer, Ciara Nally! We will discuss all things hyperlexia, provide tailored therapy activities, and discuss how to support and advocate for your hyperlexic learner!

CHAT Collaborates with Enlace to Provide Literacy Programs to Little Village Families

Enlace colabora con CHAT para proveer programas de lectura a las familias de La Villita

Small Acts of Inclusion: Pronouns

Here’s an article we wanted to share that recently got us thinking about the impact of cisgender people sharing their pronouns:

Testimonial from Jackson Charter School

At first I was skeptical and didn’t know what to think about transitioning our building to teletherapy for speech services, but I was pretty reluctant about it.  Up until that […]

Summer Programs

If you’re interested in learning more about our summer programs, be sure to check out our recent summer programs webinar. This informational video will fill you in on everything you […]

Hyperlexia Webinar on Social Skills

On May 26th, 2020 we hosted a webinar on social skills and strategies for hyperlexic children.  Our Founder, Phyllis Kupperman, and Assistant Director, Ciara Nally, shared so many helpful tips […]

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Hyperlexic Children

On May 12th, 2020 we hosted a webinar on reading comprehension strategies for hyperlexic children.  Our Founder, Phyllis Kupperman, and Assistant Director, Ciara Nally, shared so many helpful tips for […]

Fun Videos for Minimally Verbal Kids

Helpful videos to review target communication skills for minimally verbal students.

Wordless Picture Books and Videos

Wordless picture books, or wordless videos (we see you, Pixar), can be GREAT ways to work on language and literacy!  Your child can expand their imagination and create their own […]

Hyperlexia Webinar Video and Resources

On April 21, 2019, CHAT hosted a webinar, Supporting Hyperlexic Children under COVID-19: Tips from the Experts. Our Founder, Phyllis Kupperman, and Assistant Director, Ciara Nally, shared so many helpful tips for […]

CHAT Uses Teletherapy Services to Continue Providing Therapy During COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the limitations of social distancing, at CHAT we’re happy to continue providing speech-language therapy services through the use of teletherapy! In fact, with all of this newfound time at […]

CHAT recognizes three SLPs for their embodiment of core CHAT values in 2019

This week, CHAT recognized three SLPs for their embodiment of core CHAT values in 2019: Celia Kaufer, for positivity; Hannah Koronkiewicz, for passion; and Courtney Ramczyk, for flexibility. Congratulations to […]

CHAT Celebrates MLK Day

Today on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we remember and honor a man who spoke out in opposition to racial discrimination, inequity, and hatred. Our commitment to equity and inclusion […]

Utilizing the Communication Matrix

This presentation demonstrated and provided a tutorial of The Communication Matrix. It examined the website and the resources available to clinicians and parents and discussed how individuals can utilize the […]

Quest Academy to Host CHAT’s Katie Trainor as guest speaker of Parent Ed Series on Executive Functioning

Executive Functioning is often called the command center of the brain. It’s the set of skills that allow us to manage our thoughts, actions, and emotions to get things done. […]

Transition Plans and Functional Therapy Activities

This presentation reviews what transition plans are, what should be included in a transition plan, and why transition plans are an important part of the IEP process once a student […]


This presentation looked at SB100, which is an IL law intended to transform school discipline practices in Illinois and weaken the school-to-prison pipeline. The bill provides guidelines about the severity […]

Incorporation of Fine Motor Skills into Speech-Language Sessions

This presentation discusses the importance of using fine motor activities to increase engagement and participation, and reduce behaviors during speech-language sessions. Research about the relation between fine motor skills, speech-language […]

Best Practices in Teletherapy

This presentation includes general information on speech and language teletherapy including a definition, pros and cons, materials needed to engage in teletherapy, and environmental considerations. It also covers reimbursement and […]

Lynfred Winery Selects CHAT as June 2020 Charity of the Month!

On #GivingTuesday 2019, Lynfred Winery Roselle and Wheeling announced their 2020 charity of the month recipients, and we are so honored to learn that CHAT has been selected for June of 2020! […]

“Are you going to cry?”

Our Annual Appeal Changed Felix’s Life Felix is a Chicago 4th grader. We began supporting him with speech and language therapy in school last year. Because of generous donations from our 2018 […]


This presentation explores echolalia, which is the repetition of verbalizations or speech. It describes current research on definitions of echolalia, important background information, and therapeutic approaches for clinicians. Echolalia can […]

40th Anniversary Celebration

On September 25, we honored the legacy of our founder, Phyllis Kupperman, with a special celebration to mark our 40th anniversary. The event raised funds for a scholarship in Phyllis’ name. […]

Language Sample Analysis: A Tool for Assessment and Clinical Practice

Often a component of a comprehensive speech-language assessment, a language sample provides a non-biased, valid, and reliable look into an individual’s receptive and expressive language abilities to determine if that […]

Treatment Strategies for Accent Modification

This presentation is designed to provide treatment areas, resources, and ideas for speech language pathologists working with or interested in working with clients on accent modification in American English. As […]

Mindfulness-based techniques for school-age children

Mindfulness-based interventions and techniques can increase attentional and emotional self-regulation skills, as well as promote cognitive flexibility. This presentation defines mindfulness and highlights key research on mindfulness-based practices for children […]

CSLD Announces Launch of New Brand, CHAT

Welcome to CHAT, our new brand. CHAT stands for Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy. Born from a desire to convey who we are with more inclusive language, CHAT represents the […]

CHAT Celebrates 40 Years

On September 25, we will honor the legacy of our founder, Phyllis Kupperman, with a special celebration to mark our 40th anniversary. At this event, we will formally launch our new […]

CHAT Serves 58 Children with Summer Programs

In the summer of 2018, we launched an initiative in partnership with Distinctive Schools to bring our life changing summer literacy and social communication programs to their students. For many of these […]

Meet Kamryn,
Our Chicago Bears Kid

Thanks to a generous gift from Koren and Mike Furrey, Wide Receivers Coach of our hometown team the Chicago Bears, Kamryn was able to attend CHAT’s five-week intensive summer literacy […]

The Importance of Teaching Syntax

This presentation provides information on the importance of teaching syntax in language therapy. It summarizes great information provided by from The Ultimate Guide to Sentence Structure by Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan, […]

Accent Modification Evaluation

Accent modification evaluations incude detailed case history, determination of client motivation and goals, segmental, suprasegmental, intelligibility, pragmatics and language assessments. Click here to download the presentation.

Behavior Management

An overview of the ABCs of behavior, FBAs and BIPs, and tips and strategies on how to maintain a supportive environment to promote positive behaviors! Click here to download the […]

Executive Function

Executive functions are cognitive skills that help a person organize behavior and accomplish a goal.  These skills are essential for success in our everyday life. Click here to download the […]

Summary of Chicago Public Schools Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services Procedural Manual for SLPs

The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS) within Chicago Public Schools provides a manual that outlines the systems and procedures involved in delivering special education services to students in need. This […]

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder with atypical and inconsistent errors. The prevalence of the disorder is difficult to measure due to the debate over the […]

Language Disorders in Juvenile Offenders

This presentation examines evidence of an elevated prevalence of language disorders among juvenile offenders and the effect of these disorders on interacting with the criminal justice system. Click here to […]

Voice and Communication Therapy for Transgender/GNC Individuals

This presentation provides a brief overview of voice and communication therapy for transgender/gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals, including information about evaluation and treatment. Click here to download the presentation.

Hearing loss and its connection to literacy & pragmatic language

Recent research has revealed that children with hearing loss are at risk for literacy and pragmatic language deficits. Click here to download the presentation.

Selective Mutism

This presentation discusses general information, diagnostic criteria, professional roles, evaluation, and treatment of individuals with selective mutism. Click here to download the presentation.

School Aged and Adolescent Fluency

A review of evidence-based assessment and treatment frameworks/recommendations for school age-adolescent individuals with fluency disorders.  Click here to download the presentation.

Treatment Strategies for Childhood Fluency Disorders

An overview of treatment approaches and treatment ideas for childhood fluency disorders. Click here to download the presentation.

CASL-2 – The Comprehensive Assessment of Speech and Language

CASL-2: This presentation discusses how to properly administer and score the Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, 2nd edition (CASL-2). Click here to download the presentation.

Evaluating Non-Standard Populations

This presentation discusses various ways to evaluate certain populations beyond standardized testing, including bilingual speakers and speakers of African-American English. Click here to download the presentation.

Pediatric Feeding Evaluation and Profiles

Pediatric feeding evaluation requires a whole-child perspective and a multi-disciplinary approach in order to identify the etiology and treatment plan. Click here to download the presentation.

Effects of Screen Time on Children

This presentation discusses current research on the effects of screen time on a child’s speech and language development, reviews how children best learn language, and provides recommendations for screen time […]

Evaluating and Treating Voice Disorders in the School-Based Setting

An overview of assessment and treatment protocols and logistics for individuals with voice differences and disorders in the school-based setting. Click here to download the presentation.

Orafacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orafacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMD) is a class of disorders that include issues with movement, strength, coordination or use of the muscles in the tongue, lips, or jaw than impact the […]

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Considerations for the evaluation and treatment of those with cleft lip and cleft palate. Click here for the presentation.

Eligibility and Dismissal for Adolescents

This presentation discusses school service eligibility criteria as they apply specifically to adolescent populations that we serve, with discussion of FAPE, IDEA, and special considerations for this age. Click here […]

Language Processing

Language processing is your ability to interpret words and attach meaning at more complex levels. Difficulty with this skill can affect a person’s ability to make sense of and organize the […]

SLP Ideas and Hacks

This presentation gives tips to SLP to help with motivation, organization, advocacy, and student resources! Click here to download the presentation.

Increasing SLPs and Educators Collaboration in the Schools

How can SLPs increase our collaborations with school staff to best support our caseload? Click here to download the presentation.

What is AAC?

AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, which includes all forms of communication other than oral speech. For example, people who are nonverbal might use pictures, boards, or devices to […]

AAC in the classroom

This presentation discusses strategies to increase the use of AAC throughout a student’s school day. Click here to download the presentation.

Beginning School Year Procedures

This presentation discusses necessary procedures for beginning therapy in the school setting including: referrals RTI/MTSS, consent/assessment, evaluations, and eligibilities. Click here to download the presentation. 

Cluttering vs. Stuttering

A review of literature to help clinicians figure out differential diagnostic characteristics as well as some treatment recommendations. Click here to download the presentation.

Features and assessment of African American English (AAE)

Considerations for evaluating school-age children with regards to AAE. Click here to download the presentation.

English Language Learners Assessment

This presentation discusses language acquisition and assessment in English language learners. Information is provided to help differentiate a language difference versus language disorder.  Click here to download the presentation.

View posts by month