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Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing
Ages: 6-Adult   Grades: 1-Adult

Add language richness to everyday communication with these stimulating activities in metalinguistics, humor, written language, and vocabulary expansion. 


  • Add richness to verbal expression
  • Improve written expression
  • Develop metalinguistics
  • Understand and use humor
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Thousands of SLPs use the HELP books for:

  • high quality, timeless content
  • a broad age-range
  • a wide scope of developmental and acquired language disorders
  • goal-driven activities
  • gradual increase in complexity within and between activities

The HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing book helps clients:

  • define and describe objects in a variety of ways
  • manipulate written sentences and write short paragraphs
  • talk about elements of language
  • understand humor, idioms, exaggerations, and other word play

The activities develop language processing in four general areas:

Defining and Describing

  • define words by function, location, events, origin, and critical attributes
  • describe items using adjectives, adverbs, and imagery
  • discriminate and sort by attributes

Written Language

  • write words to complete a sentence
  • combine simple sentences
  • reduce compound and complex sentences
  • write sentences
  • write paragraphs

Talking about Language

  • work with syllables, suffixes, prefixes, sounds in words, and rhyming words
  • identify sentences and rearrange words to make sentences
  • identify and apply linguistic terms such as sentence, question, title, and more

Word Play and Humor

  • complete rhyming poems, phrases, and sentences
  • complete silly sentences, animal similes, and riddles
  • match idioms

You may purchase HELP 4 individually or as part of a 5-Book Set.  The 5-Book Set consists of:

HELP 1 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing

HELP 2 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing

HELP 3 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing

HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing

HELP 5 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing


Copyright © 1989

190 pages, IEP goals, answer key

The HELP books are all superior products that go the extra mile to help children with special needs.  Thank you!

Mary Fratianni, Special Needs Coordinator
Port Jefferson Station, NY

  • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies actively engage the student and require higher-level cognitive processing.  These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
  • Spoken and written grammatical abilities were found to be quantitatively different in school-aged children with specific language impairment (SLI) in comparison to age- and language-matched children.  Poor judgment of syntax persisted into later elementary years despite other language measures improving within the SLI population (Gillam & Johnston, 1992).
  • In a survey of educators and speech-language pathologists, respondents agreed that a good understanding of figurative language can benefit students both academically and socially by increasing effective communication and reading comprehension (Moshein, 2006).
  • The inability to interpret figurative language leads to a breakdown in text comprehension, which in turn, can frustrate readers and discourage them from continuing reading tasks, and can cause delays in later language development (Palmer & Brooks, 2004).
  • Tasks that require students to manipulate spoken units larger than phonemes are simpler for beginners than tasks requiring phoneme manipulation.  These activities include rhyming, breaking sentences into words, and breaking words into syllables (NRP, 2000).

HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice that is functionally based.


Gillam, R.B., & Johnston, J. (1992). Spoken and written language relationships in language/learning impaired and normally achieving school-age children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35, 1303-1315.

Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.

Moshein, J. (2006). Figurative language: A different model of communication. Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists, 16, 6.

National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implication for reading and instruction-Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved January 14, 2010, from

Palmer, B.C., & Brooks, M.A. (2004). Reading until the cows come home: Figurative language and reading comprehension. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47, 370-379.


Andrea M. Lazzari, Patricia M. Peters


Andrea M. Lazzari, Ed.D., is a speech-language pathologist for Henrico County Public Schools in Richmond, Virginia.  She has previously worked in a community clinic and in private practice.  She has also taught preschool students with disabilities and was the supervisor of early childhood special education programs for the state of Virginia.  She also served as a teacher trainer at the college and university levels.  She is the author or co-author of numerous publications with LinguiSystems, including No-Glamour Question Structure Wh- Questions, No-Glamour Question Structure Interrogative Reversals, Vocabulary To Go, and the HELP series.


Patricia M. Peters, M.Ed., M.P.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in private practice in Roanoke, Virginia, and is an adjudicator of speech and language disability claims for the Department of Rehabilitative Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She has worked in a community speech and hearing clinic; a private, outpatient rehabilitation clinic; and in a Level 1 acute and trauma center and rehabilitation hospital.  In these settings she has gained experience working with all ages and communication disorders, with specific interest in traumatic brain injury, post stroke, laryngectomy, and voice, as well as articulation and language disorders of varied etiology.  Patti is a fellow of the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia and the recipient of the DiCarlo Award for Excellence in Clinical Achievement for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She is the co-author of HELP 1, HELP 2, HELP 3, HELP 5, HELP Elementary, HELP for Word Finding, and HELP for Auditory Processing.


The HELP concept began more than 20 years ago in our attempt as practicing speech-language pathologists to organize our stacks of handwritten therapy exercises into a format that could be used more efficiently with our clients and their families.  What evolved from this early attempt at organization has far exceeded our most grandiose expectations.  We found that other language instructors, like us, were in great need of therapy materials which were concise, yet provided numerous practice activities across a variety of language areas.

The philosophy underlying HELP 1, 2, and 3 has motivated and influenced the development of HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing.  In this workbook, we have attempted to present tasks related to daily activities and experiences in a format that can be used easily by clients, as well as their clinicians, teachers, family members, paraprofessionals, and others working to improve communication skills.  Careful attention has been given to the focus and scope of the tasks to ensure that the items presented reflect the interests and practical concerns of clients of a variety of ages and ability levels.

IEP goals have been included to further explain the individual tasks and to help the instructor write goals.  The general activities sections also assist in the carryover of skills learned within the sections to everyday situations.

We cannot offer this addition to the HELP series without extending our appreciation to our many colleagues whose support has been instrumental in the success of HELP.  Your positive comments and suggestions have been a source of encouragement to us in developing HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing.  As you add HELP 4 Handbook of Exercises for Language Processing to your professional libraries, we hope you will continue to find the HELP series to be of practical value in your remediation efforts with language-impaired individuals.