About The Book

EXPanding Receptive and Expressive Skills through Stories (EXPRESS): Language Formulation in Children with Selective Mutism and Other Communication Needs is a resource that provides a treatment approach for speech-language pathologists, teachers, psychologists, parents, and others working with children with selective mutism and other language delays or disorders such as language learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or for children learning English as a second language. It is a program for expanding receptive and expressive language skills with five levels of communication to accommodate children from nonvocal stages through spontaneous vocalization.

The EXPRESS approach includes activity modules corresponding to classic children’s stories. Children’s literature is used as a flexible and adaptable tool for presenting activities designed to help expand vocabulary and grammar, engage in question-answer routines, improve sentence formulation, and generate narrative language. Creativity and imagination are also fostered using sentence formulation and story generation. EXPRESS supports the Common Core State Standards for English and Language Arts.

Each of the modules requires the corresponding storybook that can be obtained individually or found within The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury, a compendium that includes all the stories.

EXPRESS also includes forms to help the clinician monitor progress and a PluralPlus companion website with video links to the stories and downloadable items from the book such as activity cards and scoring sheets.

EXPRESS requires the use of classic children’s stories to complete the activity modules. The stories can be obtained individually, through an inclusive compendium, or through online videos.

  • To obtain each storybook individually, contact your preferred library or bookseller.
  • The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury (ISBN-13: 978-0679886471) is a compendium that includes all the stories. It can be purchased through your preferred bookseller (such as Amazon) or the publisher (Penguin Random House).
  • The PluralPlus companion website as well as Appendix C of EXPRESS include video links to each story.

Disclaimer: At the time of publication all information and links are accurate. Plural Publishing, Inc. cannot further guarantee the availability of the stories or video links.

About The Authors

Evelyn R. Klein, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, ASHA Fellow, is a Full Professor at La Salle University in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders where she teaches, supervises, and advises students pursuing degrees in speech-language pathology. She also co-directs the CASTLE Assessment Center at La Salle. Dr. Klein is a certified and licensedspeech-language pathologist and a licensed psychologist with postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology and cognitive behavioral therapy. She is a Board-Certified Specialist in Child Language and Language Disorders affiliated with ASHA. Dr. Klein received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011 and Faculty Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2018. She is also engaged in private practice. Her areas of specialization include selective mutism, autism spectrum disorders, fluency disorders, language disorders, and counseling. Dr. Klein is an editor and author of textbooks and treatment programs including EXPRESS (Expanding Receptive and Expressive Skills through Stories), More Than Fluency: The Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Dimensions of Stuttering, and Acquired Language Disorders: A Case-Based Approach, Third Edition (all published by Plural Publishing). She is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Selective Mutism Association.

Sharon Lee Armstrong, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of PsyD Research & Dissertations at La Salle University, Associate Faculty Member at Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, and Research Consultant at Selective Mutism Research Institute. Her specializations within Cognitive Science are psycholinguistics, language development, concepts / categorization / semantics, reasoning, decision making, and metacognition, which she has investigated in selective mutism, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, aphasia, and depression. She belongs to the Psychonomic Society, Association for Psychological Science (APS), APA Divisions of Experimental Psychology and Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Selective Mutism Association (SMA), and Society for Philosophy & Psychology. She presents at national conferences (e.g., the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, APS, and SMA). Recently co-authored articles include “Assessing Spoken Language Competence in Children With Selective Mutism: Using parents as test presenters,” “Social Anxiety Treatment for Children and Families With Selective Mutism: A Pilot Study,” and “Can Prototype Representations Support Composition and Decomposition?”

Janice Gordon, MS, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist in private practice. Janice obtained her Master of Science from La Salle University where she was a graduate research assistant and recipient of the Graduate Achievement Award in 2013. Her clinical practice has included assessment and treatment of preschool children with communication disorders in Bucks County, PA and conducting research at the Selective Mutism Anxiety and Related Disorders Treatment (SMart) Center. She presents at national and regional conventions including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association, SMart Center’s Beyond the Basics Conference, and at the Selective Mutism Association’s annual convention. Janice is published in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry on the topic of treatment for selective mutism and is a co-author of the new publication EXPanding Receptive and Expressive Skills through Stories (EXPRESS): Language Formulation in Children with Selective Mutism and Other Communication Needs. Her diagnostic and treatment approaches are guided by the importance of collaboration between all members of her client’s team.

Donna Spillman Kennedy, MS, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist who has dedicated her career to helping individuals with speech and language disorders communicate effectively. She provides a range of assessment and treatment services to clients across the lifespan through Integrated Speech Pathology, LLC where she is a partner. Donna has been an Adjunct Professor at Kean University for 25 years having taught lecture classes and supervised clinic. Areas of specialization include augmentative and alternative communication and selective mutism. Donna has been a strong advocate for ridding the silence of selective mutism through Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® (S-CAT) developed by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum. She continues to be devoted to educating professionals and families regarding selective mutism and facilitating a collaborative approach among all team members to promote successful communication in children. Donna presents on selective mutism and AAC regionally as well as nationally.

Carolyn Gerber Satko, MS, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist in a highly diverse, urban school district in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She provides speech and language therapy services for students at the elementary level and evaluates students transitioning into a school-age program from early intervention. Mrs. Satko attended Bloomsburg University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology with a Minor in Special Education through the Department of Exceptionalities Program. She continued her education at La Salle University to obtain a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Mrs. Satko provides services to students with a multitude of communication disorders and learning disabilities. She takes special interest in incorporating literacy into speech and language therapy when working with students.

Elisa Shipon-Blum, DO, is the President and Director of the Selective Mutism Anxiety and Related Disorders and Treatment Center (SMart Center) located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is director of the Selective Mutism Research Institute (SMRI), which is a foundation started to study her theories and treatment methodologies on Selective Mutism. Dr. Shipon-Blum is the Founder and Director Emeritus of the Selective Mutism Association (SMA) and the Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology and Family Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Shipon-Blum has developed the evidenced-based therapy, Social Communication Anxiety Treatment® or (S-CAT)® from her years evaluating, treating and researching individuals with Selective Mutism.

Table of Contents


The EXPRESS Program
Addressing Communication for Children With Selective Mutism and Other Communication Needs
Organizational Framework for EXPRESS

Appendix A. Information About Stories in EXPRESS Communication Levels
Appendix B. Lexile Levels
Appendix C. Video Links
Appendix D. Communication Questionnaire for Selective Mutism
Appendix E. Feelings Barometer Charts
Appendix F. Yes-No Cards
Appendix G. Question Photo Cards

EXPRESS Level 1. Nonvocal Communication Story Modules
Story Module 1-1. Ten, Nine, Eight
Story Module 1-2. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree
Story Module 1-3. “The Letter” from Frog and Toad are Friends
Story Module 1-4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Story Module 1-5. The Story of Ferdinand

EXPRESS Level 2. Indirect Vocalization Story Modules
Story Module 2-1. I Am a Bunny
Story Module 2-2. Titch
Story Module 2-3. Owen
Story Module 2-4. The Stinky Cheese Man
Story Module 2-5. Swimmy

EXPRESS Level 3. Direct Vocalization (Limited) Story Modules
Story Module 3-1. Good Night, Gorilla
Story Module 3-2. Miss Nelson is Missing
Story Module 3-3. D.W. The Picky Eater
Story Module 3-4. Petunia
Story Module 3-5. Make Way for Ducklings

EXPRESS Level 4. Scripted Vocalization Story Modules
Story Module 4-1. Goodnight Moon
Story Module 4-2. The Snowy Day
Story Module 4-3. Madeline
Story Module 4-4. Millions of Cats
Story Module 4-5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

EXPRESS Level 5. Spontaneous Vocalization Story Modules
Story Module 5-1. Freight Train
Story Module 5-2. Amelia Bedelia
Story Module 5-3. Harry the Dirty Dog
Story Module 5-4. Where the Wild Things Are
Story Module 5-5. A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog


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