Find out more about coaching!

"It really has been amazing to see the change. I remember when I 
started and thinking, how is it possible to make progress online?
But it can totally happen. I was skeptical about my ability, but it's all about the guidance".
-Devon, graduate of Step by Step Academy

Find out what our moms have to say about the difference when using our approach!

Find out what our families say about how it feels to be the one to take charge of their toddler's future!


As a mom, you know your child best! With our approach and the right tools, there is no one else in the world who can do it better...

The fierce love you have for your toddler fuels the day to day commitment it takes to change the trajectory of your toddler's future...

Every day is a new opportunity to ensure that you are creating lasting progress...

With Cherie and Alicia you will receive all of the support, coaching and guidance you will need to travel successfully through your child's communication journey, especially on the days when you need it most...

PROGRESS IS ONLY POSSIBLE when you shift from . . . 

  • ​Trying to join into your toddler's play TO creating meaningful back and forth interaction
  • ​Working in the wrong place TO meeting your toddler exactly where they are.
  • ​Focusing on words TO seeing ALL communication as valuable and responding to it
  • ​Prompting, withholding and bribing for more TO responding to how your toddler communicates naturally
  • ​Relying on your professionals TO taking charge of your toddler's communication like no one else can!

Our Story

We are Cherie and Alicia, two pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists who have a passion for opening the doors of communication for children ages 0-3 with characteristics of autism and those diagnosed with autism. 

In our careers, it was so clear to us that the moms who sought out our expertise and worked diligently at home in between our therapy sessions, created progress for their children that was exponentially greater than speech therapy alone.  We affectionately call these moms the 1% -  moms who will do whatever work it takes to help their child communicate. 

We created our coaching program for the 1% of moms. We knew that if they had the tools and guidance from us as Speech-Language Pathologists, the progress they could make would be amazing. 

Since developing the Step by Step Academy, the results our moms are creating are more than we ever thought possible.  We are blown away every day as we watch our moms and families embrace our approach and begin to unlock their child's communication. 

As highly experienced and dedicated Speech-Language Pathologists who have worked for many years providing services in a school setting, we now see how our moms and families can create results in weeks that we cannot create ourselves in many months, if not years. 

More than 60 families into our coaching program, we are amazed nearly every day how skilled our families become with our approach and the results that they create. 

See what Rachel says about watching her son's BEFORE and AFTER video (9 months apart)!

"I am sitting here smiling through my tears as I re-watch that first video with the puzzle from last year. I remember feeling so hopeless and scared and crying myself to sleep almost every night. A year ago Dax had poor eye contact, he didn’t speak at all, he didn’t respond to his name, he didn’t have any gestures and he lived in his own world. I was spinning my wheels with flash cards and repeating words over and over to Dax for a year and getting nothing from him in return. Just a blank stare.

Fast forward to present day and I can barely recognize him in that first video because he has changed SO much! All those things he wasn’t doing a year ago he is doing now. Gaining joint attention and then joint engagement was exactly where we needed to start with Dax. It took a lot of work and a lot of time but once we got him out of his own little world and into ours he has not stopped making progress. He has learned that it is fun to interact and communicate with us. He even started saying “love you.” I waited almost 3 years to hear him say those words to me.
I would do it all over again in a heart beat if I had to without any hesitation. Cherie and Alicia changed our lives and changed Dax’s life forever. I will be forever thankful for them and I thank God that I found them." - Rachel


You feel less worry and guilt because you are secure in the knowledge 
that two Speech-Language Pathologists are leading you step by step 
on the journey to lasting PROGRESS that will continue long after you are done with the program.

You experience CONNECTION you never thought possible with your 
child as YOU create the communication between you.

You will feel EMPOWERED because you have stepped in and taken charge of your child's future during this critical window of time. 

Watch how Jack learned to SHARE an interaction with Kim in her BEFORE and AFTER videos! 
(5 months apart) 
"When he started, he wasn't answering to his name. He would look at my finger, not at what I was pointing at. Really, really no communication whatsoever. He actually came up to me and wanted to play with me the other day which was something that he's never done before. I've seen such a huge difference in my son." - Kim (5 weeks into the program)

We know you're probably thinking . . .
"this sounds amazing, but how do I really do this?"


Cost: $4,800.00 

A 6 month coaching program for toddlers ages 0-3 where you receive individualized coaching, specific to your toddler and your family routines...

...where you will graduate from our program with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) lens, feeling confident that you have the tools and skillset to continue creating amazing progress for your toddler.
...where when you fully commit to the 6 month process, the results will be exponentially greater than anything that could be achieved with 6 months of traditional speech therapy.

*At no other time in your child's life will you have this kind of access to 2 pediatric speech-language pathologists who are available for guidance, encouragement, and support through every step of the way!

"I would say that it is worth the time and the money. We as mothers are the only ones that are going to be able to change our children’s future because we know them best and most importantly we are the ones that love them the most in this world! Don’t hesitate to join the Step by Step Academy because these two amazing professionals will guide you through every step of the way and they will be there to cheer you on, to give you great strategies, to pick you up when you’re down and most importantly they will be there for your child. Cherie and Alicia will make sure you leave the coaching with all the strategies you need to make a difference in your little one’s life!" -Steph

"It's worth both money AND time. Cherie and Alicia are in this with you!" - Alex

Ignite your toddler's social driver
*Discover what tunes your toddler in best so that your toddler wants to interact over and over again.
*Develop the IRC tools so that you are empowered to create meaningful interactions with your toddler

Read and respond to ALL of your toddler's communication
*Develop the skills to read ALL of your toddler's communication as valuable which eliminates the need for prompting and pressure
*Use the IRC method to respond to communication in the way that your toddler needs it most to communicate naturally from an internally motivated place which will lead to more and more

Create Communication Opportunities:
*Increase your toddler's role within an interaction so that it becomes increasingly more of a balanced and shared interaction
*Uplevel your ability to problem solve, adapt, and support your toddler in the ways they need it most so that your toddler communicate meaningfully and purposefully on their own
*Integrate all that you have learned into daily routines so that it becomes part of who you are without extra energy or time

Our program is tailored specifically for you . . .

We help worried, hopeless and frustrated moms like you who have tried everything to help your child communicate. We teach and coach dedicated moms like you to create progress in your toddler’s communication and increase connection in a way you never imagined by coaching you to use simple strategies consistently within your already existing routines. 

We know you are living crazy, busy lives trying to meet the needs of everyone in your family. Everything we teach is simple and can be implemented whether you are at home all day with your child or if you work outside the home.  We will walk you through step by step to create more connections and lasting change in your toddler’s communication.  

Our program is unique because it is happening in real time, with real moms & families who are experiencing real struggles with their child’s communication. Because coaching is the foundation of our program, you will know exactly what to target and how to implement the strategies you are learning.

What does the 6 month program include?


THIS IS THE UNIQUE PIECE OF OUR PROGRAM THAT YOU WILL FIND NOWHERE ELSE and the KEY to creating amazing and lasting progress!

YOU will create connection and communication progress with your child that you cannot even imagine today as you learn what YOUR child responds to as you bring them out of their own world...

You film a 1 minute or less interaction with your child and send it to us for feedback. 
We coach you through every tiny piece of each interaction as you learn to read your child's communication in a way you never thought possible and to respond in the way that YOUR child needs it most. 

This process is like no other because:
*we don't interfere with the flow of your interactions

*we are able to watch the video for every bit of communication that may be missed in real time

*you are able to watch your video after you receive our feedback in order to understand what worked best with your child and what you want to change

*you are able to try the interaction again and continue to hone your skills as you send it for more coaching

*you can send as many videos as you want on any schedule that works best for your family

*this process can be worked around YOUR schedule and YOUR child - totally individualized

1:1 Coaching 

 . . .where you get direct coaching from 2 SLPs, who tailor the framework specifically to your child.

This is the LIVE coaching portion in addition to the written coaching. Your 1:1 Live Session is your opportunity to receive individualized coaching within the group coaching model. Recieve real time feedback on your videos as you talk through where your struggles and successes are and work with through any places you feel stuck. Session after session, Cherie and Alicia will help you connect the dots on how the seemingly tiny changes you are making are propelling progress forward in the most meaningful ways.

View your interactions with your child through a Speech-Language Pathologist's lens (through direct coaching) to enable you to ignite your toddler's social driver, read and respond to ALL of their communication in the way that they need it most, and create communication opportunities.

In order to ensure that you walk away with the SLP lens, we provide a program that is designed to gradually increase your independence in order for you to continue to create progress for your child long after you are finished with the program. We fade our support as your independence increases while still being here for you to provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability. 

This 6 month program is designed as follows:

First 8 weeks (Months 1 and 2):
-one, 20-minute 1:1 zoom call per week
-up to 4 videos per coaching session sent prior to the call
-send coaching videos anytime (M-F) between 1:1 sessions during the initial 8 weeks only

Months 3 & 4:
 -two 20-minute 1:1 zoom calls per month
 -a total of 4 sessions during this 2 month period
 -up to 4 videos per coaching session sent prior to the call
 (video coaching is done on your 1:1 session only - not throughout the

Months 5 & 6:
 -one 20-minute 1:1 zoom call each month
 -up to 4 videos per coaching session prior to the call
 (video coaching is done at your 1:1 session only - not throughout the 

All of our course information is contained in our 
easy to access app!

Access to your weekly curriculum that helps you stay inspired, on track, and accountable

Access to a video library of coaching videos families have shared


Real time access to Cherie and Alicia, two pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists with over 30 years experience working with young children on the foundational skills! 

Celebrate successes and share challenges with other families who are as dedicated as you are!


The program starts with an initial 30 minute consultation with Cherie & Alicia. This is an opportunity for you to share more about your child and to express your concerns and goals for your child. It is also an opportunity for Cherie & Alicia to get you started with the video coaching process based on your toddler's individual needs.

Have questions? Reach out to us and book a FREE 20 minute consultation with us! Email us at

"You believed in us when we didn't believe in us..." - Ana & Cole
Listen to Ana & Cole describe the progress they created from working with us

See the BEFORE and AFTER videos of Taren's son, Rhett!
"We have now gotten words. We have gotten fill-ins. We have gotten multiple, multiple gestures..."

Notice how the quality of the interaction is entirely different as they share the experience of a true back and forth interaction.

 As Taren solidified Rhett's foundational skills through coaching, she helped him learn the joy of a back and forth interaction. This is what opened the door and unlocked his communication. Progress just keeps coming!

Moms using our strategies say . . .

"My son has started listening to his name, following a point, engaging with myself and everyone else around him, playing appropriately with toys, understanding that he is separate from me and started to make his own choices, playing and engaging with social games, imitating, pointing and just the fact that he is there with us and not in his own little world anymore! All this in 2 months! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and I will definitely keep working with them".     Steph

"It is easier to get his attention. He is interested to participate in activities with us, which do not involve colors, numbers, letters, and shapes. He is less in his own world. His eye contact is so much better".    Ioana

With Cherie and Alicia’s support and guidance you will gain confidence in your ability to take charge of your child’s communication, be empowered to make lasting change, build more connections with your child and family and trust your instincts when it comes to what your child and family needs.

Have questions? Reach out to us and book a FREE 20 minute consultation! Email

Want to find out more about our approach?
Find us on:
Instagram @connectspeech
Facebook Connect-it's not just speech

Is there a guarantee?

We guarantee that you will learn evidence-based strategies that are proven to help your 
toddler's communication improve. Because every child is unique with their own set of strengths and 
challenges, we do not guarantee the degree to which your child will improve.  

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