The Four Stages of Imitation (CEUs Available)

(15 customer reviews)



OUT OF STOCK, BACKORDERS AVAILABLE: This item is currently out of stock as we await a shipment from our printers. Orders shipping within the USA which include this item will ship separately and this backordered item will ship as soon as it’s available. Orders shipping internationally which include this item will be held until all items can ship out together. Receiving date TBD; summer 2022. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

ASHA SELF-STUDY COURSE Intermediate Level, 0.1 ASHA CEUsLearn the four stages of imitation and how to use them to help children who are non-verbal speak up, speak out, and imitate old and new vocabulary.

“Great seminar! I am excited to share this information with my colleagues in early intervention. Thank you for making this information so clear, efficient and direct!”
— Virginia, SLP
“This presentation was excellent! It especially gave me a lot of ideas of how I can better explain my process to parents.”
— Rebecca Tucker, SLP

Seminar Details

In this hour-long lecture, Pam Marshalla describes the four stages of imitation development as defined by Jean Piaget, focusing on how the stages can be used as a basis for developing sound and word imitation in young children who are non-verbal or nearly non-vocal. Many of these children appear unable or unwilling to imitate sounds and words. Over the course of this hour, Pam shares the specialized methods that she has developed for speech-language pathologists who are working with clients such as these.

This course is available for ASHA CEUs and/or Continuing Education Hours and is also available for group CEUs (see below).

“This entire presentation was enlightening! I learned new ways to address therapy with kids that have not had much progress with traditional play activities in therapy. I appreciate the organization of these four stages of imitation. ”
— C.W., SLP

Seminar Outline

  1. Our Understanding of Imitation
  2. Emergence of Imitation
  3. The Four Stages of Imitation
  4. Stage One: Vocal Contagion
  5. Stage One Goals and Basic Activities
  6. Stage Two: Mutual Imitation
  7. Stimulating Mutual Imitation Dialogue
  8. Mature Mutual Imitation Dialogue
  9. Stage Two Goals
  10. Stage Three: Spontaneous Imitation of Old Repertoire
  11. Stage Three Goals
  12. Inventory the Old Repertoire
  13. Make Practice Cards
  14. On-Demand Practice
  15. Stage Four: Spontaneous Imitation of New Repertoire
  16. Activities
  17. Summary: Stages of Imitation

The Four Stages of Imitation is:

  • 1 One-Hour DVD (high-quality 720p video seminar)
  • 32-Page Handout Booklet
  • Appropriate for SLPs and parents
  • Available for optional 0.1 ASHA CEUs (see details below)
“Very informative! I did not know of these four stages before taking this workshop and now I have a whole new understanding of my students. I realize now that not all of them are at the final stage of imitation and they should therefore not be pushed into imitating new words. Thank you!”
— Helen Malbec, SLP

Continuing Education Enrollment

All DVDs are mailed with continuing education enrollment instructions. After watching the video, please register for your CEUs on our website here.

If you do not wish to receive ASHA CEUs for this course, we are happy to give you (only) a certificate of completion after you watch the video — you will be given instructions on how to opt out of ASHA reporting when you submit your paperwork to us.

Group CEU Options

For those who would like to view the DVD together, we offer group packages. Group DVD packages come with one DVD and handout booklet and all CE participants will receive photocopies of the handout to use while following along with the DVD. The cost for each additional group participant is only $25.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this one-hour course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify Piaget’s four stages of imitation
  • Describe the unique characteristics of each stage of imitation.
  • Understand the types of clients who may be having difficulty with each stage.
  • Design therapy activities to stimulate each stage.


Financial Disclosure: Pam Marshalla (presenter) and Marshalla Speech & Language (publisher) do not have any financial relationships to disclose.

Non-Financial Disclosure: Pam Marshalla (presenter) and Marshalla Speech & Language (publisher) do not have any non-financial relationships to disclose.

ASHA CE Registry & Fee

To earn ASHA CEUs, subscribers must have paid their annual ASHA CE Registry fee. Individuals must meet at least one of the following conditions to be eligible to earn ASHA CEU:

  1. ASHA Member (includes Life member and International affiliates)
  2. ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) Holder
  3. Licensed by a state or provincial regulatory agency to practice speech-language pathology (SLP) or audiology
  4. Credentialed by a state regulatory agency to practice SLP or audiology
  5. Credentialed by a national regulatory agency to practice SLP or audiology
  6. A Clinical Fellow supervised by someone who holds the ASHA CCC
  7. Currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in SLP or audiology

The participant pays ASHA CE Registry fee directly to the ASHA National Office. The annual ASHA CE Registry fee allows registration of an unlimited number of ASHA CEUs for the calendar year. Contact the ASHA CE staff at 800-498-2071 or visit for CE Registry fee subscription information.


Additional information

Weight .35 lbs
Dimensions 8.00 × 6.00 × 0.50 in
Product Options

DVD + Booklet + CEUs, Add-On CEUs for Groups

15 reviews for The Four Stages of Imitation (CEUs Available)

  1. Allyson G.C.

    This DVD builds upon fundamental skills. Excellent for grad students, beginning clinicians and a refresher for Master clinicians.

  2. Joni Lofton

    This film covers important concepts that have been ‘lost in translation’ in SLP training and subsequent therapy with young children. […] Solid examples – easy to understand and begin to implement immediately.

  3. Anonymous

    I was surprised to learn that many therapists (including myself) are asking nonverbal kids to do things that they are not capable of doing. We’re starting therapy at a level that’s too advanced. While I believe it’s important to have high expectations, if we don’t meet the child where they are, we won’t see the progress we’re expecting. Now I have a clear roadmap of where to start!

  4. Kathy, SLP

    I absolutely loved the picture card practice ideas and the on-demand practice stimuli types. Great information that I will use immediately. Her specific therapy examples and models of dialogue with parents/children were wonderful.

  5. Anonymous

    I loved this Seminar! I am one of those therapists that felt I needed to be getting my patients to imitate NEW words; I did not realize the importance of having them repeat the words already in their repertoire. Thanks you for this information! I also loved that the information was in the booklet included with the DVD.

  6. Judy K

    Great recording quality. Clear, concise examples were appreciated. Pam is easy to listen to and follow and her information makes me excited to go back to work tomorrow!

  7. C.W.

    I appreciate the organization of the four stages of imitation. I believe this will help me when explaining to teachers why the students are not imitating their models. I am hoping this will help decrease teacher frustration. This entire presentation was enlightening. I learned new ways to address therapy with kids that have not had much progress with traditional play activities in therapy

  8. Helen Malbec

    I found this workshop to be very informative. I did not know of these four stages before taking this workshop and I have a whole new understanding of my students. I realized now that not all of them are at the final imitation level and they should therefore not be pushed into imitating new words.

  9. Virginia

    Great seminar. I am excited to share this information with my colleagues in early intervention. The principles and methods were familiar to me, but most people in EI don’t understand these ideas. Thank you for making it so clear, efficient and direct!

  10. Rhonda G

    I have always worked in a school setting with kids who are often beyond this state of development. Now that I am in a private, clinical setting, I am working with many delayed children who are functioning at the Vocal Contagion stage. I am very excited about working with children at this stage and educating the parents and providing them with the tools to help their child be successful.

  11. Winnie Fredericks

    I found this extremely helpful to look at stage of imitation. I know view what some of my clients are doing/not doing in a whole new way. I have also never before heard that the goal was just to “make any sound/vocalization.” This is helpful and gave me permission as a therapist to be satisfied with laughter and babbling as communication.

  12. Madison J. R., SLP

    I found it most surprising that one, the child engages in direct imitation sooner than 18-24 mo, and that most people only think of imitation as being direct, and not in four stages. Myself included. I need to return to my books!

  13. JFVR

    I loved seeing Pam Marshalla at a video conference in the past. I was so sorry to hear she became ill and passed. She was a leader in the field of SLP’s and was able to put practical information together in simple to use terms. She will be missed!

  14. Lauren

    This video format was enjoyable and easy to follow. Very applicable to the caseload I have and how to address imitation skills with older pediatric population that may present as reluctant to speak.

  15. Sandra B

    I love gaining a new lens and fresh ideas to approach the same goals I’ve already been working on with clients. So grateful that Pam has left us more of her expertise through these recorded CEUs. I found this course to be fantastic! The idea of imitation of old vs new repertoire was new to me. It was something I had noticed before in my kiddos and was excited to have a name/explanation for it!

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