Tips and Tricks for Answering Questions

Oh this one can be tricky!  Lots of our children need help learning to answer questions.  This can be due to a variety reasons: intelligibility (how clearly they speak), receptive language (what they understand), expressive language, autism, echolalia (repeating what other people say), attention...and more!

There are several different types of questions that are often targeted in speech therapy:
1) /WH/ questions: This includes /who, what, when, where, why/
2)  YES/NO questions
3) Hypothetical Questions (ex. what would you do if you couldn't find your coat?)

Yes/No seems pretty simple...and it is for a lot of children.  For a child with speech, language, or other developmental delays, it can be really challenging. 

I remember the day Lucas finally answered a "yes/no" question correctly like it was yesterday.  I nearly cried.  I'm not an emotional person, but I nearly cried.  His SLP had not only taught him to answer a yes/no question, but he transitioned it into a functional context at home....to tell me "yes" when I asked if he wanted goldfish crackers. 

She had contacted me while working on this and asked me "what is something Lucas does NOT like to eat".  I told her "white milk".  So, when she joined his class at snack time, she presented him with a question: "Lucas, do you want milk?"  If he gave any incorrect answer (other than "no")...he got the white milk.  He learned very quickly how to say "No!" 


Teaching this concept can be broken down to the most simple level.  I call this one the "no fail" level.  We give the child the answer.  I've created no fail "yes" and "no" games on Boom Learning that you can preview by clicking the pictures below.  I'll admit, most of my resources in my current library are digital due to the current state of the pandemic...but I do have a long term goal to create more print resources, as well.  The purpose of these "No Fail" games it to teach what "yes" means and what "no" means.

Once children have an understanding of what "no" and "yes" mean, you can move on to what I call Level 1 instruction. This involves printing both choices "yes" or "no" on the same card.  You can preview a game using that level of teaching here. 


I also have games available for answering /wh/ questions in my Boom Learning Store and on Teachers Pay Teachers.  

For free visuals to support teaching these concepts (printables in a downloadable pdf file), you can click below.  I have "Yes", "No", and "Yes/No" within the same file for free on Teachers Pay Teachers.


 Video rehearsal can be a great way for children to learn new concepts.  My daughter, Ava, has graciously helped to create these for practice. 

Here is a social rehearsal video for how to answer "no".

Here is a social rehearsal video for how to answer "yes".



Here is a social rehearsal video for how to answer "yes" or "no".


Lastly, I always encourage parents, teachers, and therapists to use books to teach any concept.  My articulation series "Kiki" has Yes/No questions built in.  You can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I also highly recommend checking out Panda Speech.  She has an enormous library of materials that have yes/no questions embedded on her website.  

Other great books for teaching children how to answer questions include: 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
Pete the Cat (any of them...they're all wonderful!) by James Dean
I went Walking by Sue Williams


Coming soon.....how tips and tricks for teaching children to ask questions.  

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