First Words: The Case Against Teaching the Word “More”

Janine Shapiro, CCC-SLP, BCBA

When a parent tells me that their child has limited language, but has learned one word/sign, in my head, I say it in unison with the parent, “more.”  This is typically the “go to” first word or sign that speech-language pathologists and developmental therapists teach.  In fact, it’s the first word I taught before I learned about the science of verbal behavior. However, for numerous reasons, it’s best to avoid teaching “more” as a first word whenever possible.  In the following video, I build a case against teaching the word “more” and discuss the types of first words to teach instead in order to create a strong foundation for future language development.

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