128: What Is Gestalt Language Processing (And How Does It Look for the Older Students)?! with Alexandria Zachos

What Is Gestalt Language Processing (And How Does It Look for the Older Students)?! with Alexandria Zachos



Have you heard of Gestalt Language Processing? 

This is something that many SLPs don’t actually know a lot about but understanding it can make a huge impact on your students.  We have always been told to redirect echolalia, but kids that communicate that way are gestalt language processors, and it’s important to understand how to help them. 

In this episode of SLP Coffee Talk, I sat down with Alexandria Zachos to talk about gestalt language processing and how you can incorporate this knowledge into your therapy practice. 

Alexandria is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of Illinois and has been practicing since 2003.  Over the past eighteen years, she has provided therapy for all ages in a variety of clinical settings, including public schools, home therapy, acute care, rehabilitation hospitals, and outpatient clinics. 

In both November 2017 and 2018, Alexandria presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) Convention in Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA on Natural Language Acquisition and delayed echolalia.  She has an on-demand webinar available for CEUs through ASHA on this topic. She is passionate about educating others on gestalt language processors and how to treat delayed echolalia.  

Alexandria created Meaningfulspeech.com (a membership site that provides self-paced learning through educational modules, handouts, and monthly webinars featuring experts in the field)  in 2020 to educate SLPs, professionals, and parents on gestalt language processing, echolalia, and the step-by-step approach to helping a child move to original language using the Natural Language Acquisition framework developed by Marge Blanc.

Alexandria is an international speaker and often presents on gestalt language processing, echolalia, and NLA both virtually and in person.  She has provided trainings and webinars and has spoken to clinics, school districts, speech-language associations, and parent groups.


In This Episode You’ll Discover:

  • What gestalt language processing is
  • How to know if your student needs help with this
  • Why it’s better to work one-on-one with these students
  • The different stages of gestalt language processing
  • Therapy activities you can do with these students
  • Why sitting at a desk isn’t good for developing language skills
  • How to collect data in sessions like these


We really need more and more SLPs trained on this topic so we can get the word out, so if you are interested in learning more or are thinking about starting a private practice, make sure to check out Alexandria’s course. 

If you want to know more about this topic from Alexandria, I hope you’ll join us at the Speech Retreat! It’s your last chance to register! Join us to get renewed and refueled with tons of SLP inspiration at a virtual retreat like no other.

If you’re a parent or someone looking for a speech pathologist that understands Gestalt processing, there is an NLA-trained clinician registry at Meaningfulspeechregistry.com. 


What Is Gestalt Language Processing (And How Does It Look for the Older Students)?! with Alexandria Zachos


Joke of the Week:

Q: Why did the singer climb the ladder? 

A: She wanted to get to the high notes. 


Resources Mentioned: 

Check out Alexandria’s course and get the FREE handout

Follow Meaningful Speech on Instagram

Follow Meaningful Speech on Facebook

Register for the Virtual Speech Retreat


Where We Can Connect: 

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