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Using Strategies from the Expanding Expression Tool

What Is It?

The Expanding Expression Tool (EET) was created by Sara L. Smith – a speech-language pathologist with a specialty in language processing and multi-sensory approaches to language development. Simply put, EET is a research-based tool to help expand a child’s language. It uses a multi-sensory approach to assist in expanding language from simple general descriptions of objects all the way to writing reports for school. The ability to express beyond labeling helps develop a child’s ability to categorize, compare and contrast, make associations, use and understand attributes, and more.

The Expanding Expression Tool is a mnemonic device using colored beads and visual supports to help a child express the following:

  • What category does the object belong to?
  • What does it do?
  • What does the object look like in regards to size, shape, and color?
  • What is it made of?
  • What are the different parts of the object?
  • Where do you find it?
  • Anything else you know about the object?

 As a child obtains the ability to answer the above questions, answers can eventually be expanded to sentences and paragraphs.

Try It at Home!

The techniques outlined by the Expanding Expression Tool can be used throughout your child’s daily life! To use EET in the most basic sense, pick an object and begin answering the questions mentioned previously. For example, while you’re sitting at the dinner table, you could describe a fork:

  • What category does the object belong to? Silverware
  • What does it do? Picks up food
  • What does the object look like in regards to size, shape, and color? Silver, rectangular, small
  • What is it made of? Metal/plastic
  • What are the different parts of the object? Tines, slots, and handle
  • Where do you find it? In the kitchen, at restaurants, at the cafeteria at school, etc.
  • Anything else you know about the object? You can’t eat soup with a fork!


The official Expanding Expression Tool kit has all of the tactile and visual supports needed for implementation. It also includes games, posters, and various writing prompts. For more information on the Expanding Expression Tool or to purchase your own EET kit, visit

Additional resources and ideas for use of EET can be found on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers.


-Kay Caprez, Speech Therapist

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Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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