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A special hug

Windsor, Canada

Two months after starting the program, our daughter initiated a hug with her brother for the first time, and said she loves him. Worth every penny and hour invested!


Learning to Tune In

Toronto, Canada

My daughter is autistic. I've read TalkAbility twice and had the help of an SLP trained in the TalkAbility program. Kate is now able to easily pick up on cues to tune into the thoughts and feelings of her friends. Occasionally, she can pick up on the boredom of a friend on her own. I know these skills help Kate to make sense of social situations and give her greater confidence. I feel like these skills are helping us do the best we can to help Kate to develop Theory of Mind.


From imitation to communication

Newcastle, Australia

Today I used the Imitation strategy during a session; for the first time in months, my client looked at me. For the first time in our history (8 months), he made requests of me and he PLAYED with me! It took all of my professional strength not to cry right then and there to be allowed to communicate with this boy. His Mum caught on quickly with OWLing and she was able to elicit eye-contact requests for bubbles. She really appreciated that she could help her son communicate more purposefully if she stopped making assumptions about what he was thinking or feeling. He stayed with us in our activity for up to 8 minutes at a time, for several activities. He slowed down, he watched us, and he looked to genuinely enjoy making two full grown women copy him!


A career-long love

Sydney, Australia

I took my first training in 1997 and since that time have run many Hanen programs. I use the principles and resources every day in my current practice, and see firsthand the results when parents are empowered and upskilled to work on communication across their child’s daily lives. I have loved the long-term relationship with The Hanen Centre in various forms and have formed some amazing professional relationships as a result. I have loved my career as a Speech Pathologist (now in its 38th year), and I truly believe that I am by far a better clinician because of the training and support I have received from The Hanen Centre.


My Hanen baby!

Guildford, England

I completed my Hanen It Takes Two to Talk workshop 4 days before the birth of my first son. All the other therapists were worried I would give birth any moment! He is now almost 20 years old and heading off to university! I have been mad about Hanen in clinical work ever since and have used the approach with so many families since with great impact. I am sure it has influenced my parenting over the years also. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANEN!


A chance to communicate

Whitby, Canada

While all the parents and children in the Hanen program showed improvement, the biggest surprise was Sarah, the mother of non-verbal, three-year-old Jonathan. Her first videotaped interaction shows an enthusiastic mother who talked a lot and didn't give her son much opportunity to communicate. Her second tape (taken after three sessions) has a quiet, but interested Sarah playing with Jacob, talking to him not at him. At the end of the tape, Jacob is saying "more" and "blocks". Two weeks later, Sarah came to the session and happily reported that she had her first conversation with Jacob.


Word frenzy!

Marathon, Canada

I remember a parent at my first It Takes Two to Talk® Program who was very skeptical of the idea that she should get down to her child’s level and interact with him face-to-face. She reluctantly agreed to try it at home, and at the next session she reported that her son was surprised by this new form of interaction and he giggled the entire time. I persuaded her to keep at it, and at the next session she volunteered her news: The day after the last class, she got down on the floor again. Mitch giggled again. Then suddenly he began running around the room in a frenzy, pointing, and labelling everything. Tracy sat there with her mouth open as her son displayed three or four times the expressive vocabulary she thought he had.

Former Hanen SLP
excerpt from Wig Wag, the Hanen member newsletter


A life-changer

Vancouver, Canada

Just a note to say thank you for the wonderful Hanen Program. It has changed our whole family's life from Justin to grandparents, to friends… If you remember the first video tape in March 1992 we were happy to hear him respond with "Up". Just a few months later with our change in approach, he'll sit in the tub and yell at me to "Turn off the water, it's too cold!" The Italian approach (using lots of gestures) and "creative stupidity" (not quite getting the message until given more clarification from the child) has done wonders! OWL of course and "EYE LEVEL, EYE LEVEL, EYE LEVEL". Thank you!


From words to sentences

Unknown, USA

Our family just completed Target Word - The Hanen Program for Parents of Children Who Are Late Talkers. I cannot express in words how much we have valued the expertise of our SLP and the strategies in the Target Word program...Since our son had a bank of nouns that he would repeat to us and all of his conversations were one word phrases, we really began to internalize how important it was for us to "Add one word" to whatever he said…Each time we added word, while reading his words, he would get quicker at repeating back our phrase. After 3 months, Caleb is now saying 3 and 4-word phrases and we’re having real conversations!

excerpt from Wig Wag, the Hanen member newsletter


Target Word success

Dundas, Canada

When I started your Target Word Program less than four months ago, my son had fewer than 79 words and had tremendous difficulty communicating his basic needs. He was frustrated and frequently shrieked in frustration. He could not use expressions longer than one or two words. By the end of your program, he was using over 170 words, had expanded his use of action words from five to 25, and was using five-word sentences. I realized the extent of his improvement the other day when I asked him if he would like milk or water to drink. His answer? "Actually, juice."

excerpt from Wig Wag, the Hanen member newsletter


Powerful strategies for positive change

Ventura County, USA

The highlight of my 30-year career has been sharing the wonderful Hanen strategies with our community and equipping parents and teachers to make a positive difference in their children's communication skills. When parents and teachers report using a strategy successfully and return to class eager to learn something new, I know it is making a difference for them and their children. When they view the before/after video clips of their interactions with their children, THEY know their new strategies and routines are making a positive change in their children's communication development.


A Hanen passion

Cockburn, Austraila

I commenced my first It Takes Two to Talk training in 2001, but sadly, I found out that my mum had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at the start of the final session so I was unable to complete the course. The instructors were very understanding, which I really appreciated. Ten years later (in 2011), I finally completed this training (with Jo Bristow). Jo was also wonderfully supportive as I signed in for that final afternoon session. Since that time, I have completed every Hanen training and I have run many parent programs, as well as some Teacher Talk workshops for early childhood educators/child care workers. I am passionate about all things Hanen; particularly the philosophy around providing parent/early childhood educator training and embedding strategies into everyday routines and activities. I think my mum (who was also a Teacher) would be very proud.


Kaitlyn gets further ahead

Ventura County, USA

The program was incredibly helpful - it's the best class I have ever taken. I wish I had known about it for my older three children. One of the main reasons it is so effective is that I have so many more hours to work with my daughter than the speech therapist. Imitating and interpreting were the most helpful strategies for Kaitlyn's development. She is further ahead than my other children were at this stage.

Patti Caro


A successful first Teacher Talk

Hong Kong, China

It's my first time running Teacher Talk Training A in a kindergarten. It was nerve-racking training 20 experienced teachers, but it was also very fulfilling to learn that they gained a much better understanding of their roles as 'co-constructers of language learning experiences' through the training.


Xavier takes a turn

Toronto, Canada

Xavier and his mom have fun singing “Skinnamarink” together. Mom pauses to give Xavier a chance to take a turn in the song.

Xavier can now say his ABC's and count to 20 (when he chooses) because of our implementation of the techniques we learned from the More Than Words program. We learned we were doing all the talking and not giving him a chance to speak. By using OWL, we wait and he surprises us every day with new words.

Cas Theriault


Hanen presentations in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

In March/April 2017, I volunteered with Yellow House Health and Outreach Services, Kenya. During this time, I offered two Hanen presentations for the staff. They were well received and the staff were excited to share and implement the communication strategies with their clients.


Grateful for More Than Words

Ventura County, USA

I can’t even begin to tell you how much the More Than Words program has changed my son’s life! He became less frustrated which instantly lessened his tantrums. He suffers from motor planning problems, and the words don’t always come very easily to him. But they CAN come now all because of this class! My husband and I understand what it’s like for him to live a life with autism now, and were taught how to communicate with him and now teach him in a way he can understand. I am FOREVER grateful to the leaders and for this program!

Stephanie Border


A ripple effect

Pretoria, South Africa

I became Hanen-certified in 2013 when the first Hanen workshop was held in South Africa. As clinical lecturer for speech-language therapy at the University of Pretoria, I use Learning Language and Loving It during our practicals. This year I experienced a true milestone. I was fortunate to host a SPARK Communication workshop, and three of the participants were my previous students at the University of Pretoria! It was quite special to think about my early intervention journey from a young student to watching these graduates start their training. Many of my previous students have emailed me expressing an interest in becoming Hanen-certified SLTs. It is so exciting to be part of this ripple effect.


Three weeks of change

Athens, Greece

One of my newest clients, Alexandros (3 yrs), has a language delay and some attentional difficulties. In just three weeks of coaching his parents to use Hanen strategies, I saw a significant increase in his attempts to initiate communication. According to Stella and Petros, what made a huge difference in their interaction with their son was eliminating the "insincere" questions and OWLing.


Teacher Talk success in Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia

I just completed running two Teacher Talk workshops with the students and academic staff of the Phonoaudiology Program of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of El Rosario in Bogotá (Colombia) as part of their Continuous Education program. Everybody enjoyed the course and were thankful to be able to learn the Hanen strategies. As the attendees of the course are letting me know, they are putting into practice the Hanen strategies with their students and are already obtaining very positive results.


More Than Words in Swedish

Stockholm, Sweden

Karin and I have led It Takes Two to Talk programs since 2009. When the new version of More Than Words came up, we saw it as a golden opportunity to offer a program designed for families with children with autism or social communication difficulties. With permission from Hanen, we translated some program materials into Swedish. Without this translation, it wouldn’t have been possible to offer the program. We worked very hard with the translation and we are now really happy to start the first More Than Words program in September at Talkliniken, Danderyds hospital, Stockholm.


Magical moments

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

When my son was 22 months old, we discovered that he was on the autism spectrum. He did not speak, and along with that came a lack of interaction and uncontrolled tantrums. It was through Hanen that all of us as a family could help Luis in his evolution. We learned to set boundaries, to observe, to wait, to stimulate his communication in practical, day-to-day activities. We learned to embrace the spontaneity of the simplest people game and to always, ALWAYS enjoy the moments together, as foolish as they may seem. These moments are only ours, our magical, delicious moments together. That was Hanen’s lesson. It took the commitment of all of our family, and just like running a great marathon, Luis was rapidly evolving every day. We experienced the exchange of looks, smiles, and interaction, until finally the first word after 5 months of treatment. Hanen did not just help Luis to talk, he helped us to BE A FAMILY, to encourage our son, to believe in him, to have the courage to accept the challenges. Hanen was a great learning for our life time.


Students learn Hanen strategies in Sri Lanka

Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

I am a speech-language pathologist trained in It Takes Two to Talk and More Than Words. In May 2017, I conducted a 3-hour lecture to 35 speech therapy students while working at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka as Australian Volunteer for International Development. The purpose of the lecture was to introduce students to Hanen's programs and highlight strategies from It Takes Two to Talk as part of their child language disorders subject. The students are eagerly looking forward to using Hanen strategies to support their work with clients in our student clinics.


Hanen strategies help a boy with Down Syndrome


After attending a presentation on More Than Words strategies offered by a Hanen-trained SLP in Kenya, I decided to try out the strategies with a mother of a child with Down Syndrome. After a few sessions, this little boy amazed me. Sitting down on the floor opposite me, he just couldn't stop smiling. I didn't see the usual distracted boy I was used to, whose attention I always struggled to get. In one of the sessions, the mother joined us on the floor. The child would pull my hand to do peek-a-boo again, as he laughed. We are now able to share saying play sounds together and he's starting to use single words consistently.


A relief for parents


After becoming It Takes Two to Talk-certified, I applied the Hanen principles directly to the children I treated. I immediately noticed the positive impact on children's communicative intentions, simply by waiting and following their lead. After a short while, I delivered my first program with parents, and for the first time I experienced how relieved parents are when they have finally found a way to help their children. Recently, a parent said to me, "Playing like this with my child is actually a lot easier for me. I do not constantly have to think of how to play, but simply follow my child. I am more relaxed and my child talks more".


A sincere thank-you

Toronto, Canada

The Hanen Early Language Parent Programme (HELPP) was a lifeline for me as a new parent. My son Ronan's delayed language development was confirmed when he was 2 years old, but we were told that speech and language therapy would not be available until Grade 1. Then we heard about a new program that was running as a pilot in Toronto to enable parents to help their children at a much younger age. We enrolled in September 1980 and were thrilled with the results. Ronan is now 40 years old, has a university degree in computer science, a full time job as a web page designer with Earth Day Canada, is married and made me a grandmother nearly 9 years ago! A sincere thank you to Hanen founder Ayala Manolson

Read Ronan's personal journey at lifeasahuman.com/tag/ronan-corr/


A new way forward

Clachan-Seil, Scotland

For me, Hanen came into my life as a burst of clarity. In the mid-80s, a friend of mine went to Canada to work as an SLP, and she started sending back news from Ontario, which included the startling new approach to supporting children and families. I pounced on the first information and (somewhat wobbly) video tapes of the lovely Hanen pioneers actually working with children and parents. This was a revelation, but made complete sense by putting into words and actions a way forward for parents and therapists working with children with severe communication difficulties.


A sweet realization

Vernon, Canada

One day I received a tearful telephone call from a Mom I had worked with a few years earlier. Her son had oral-motor difficulties that had really hindered his efforts to talk. She had attended an It Takes Two to Talk Program, followed by one-to-one sessions with me, and she had made good progress in encouraging her son’s communication. On the phone, she explained that she had pulled the car over and was calling from the side of the road. She wanted to tell me that she had been driving her son home from school after a stressful day, and had turned around and scolded him, "Oh for the love of Pete will you just stop talking!" In that moment she recalled all the stress and tears she had suffered in helping her son learn to talk, and was overwhelmed with the realization that they had achieved their goals, and that he truly was a talker. I was so touched that she chose to share this moment with me, and have never forgotten it.


Flying the Hanen flag in Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland

I completed my It Takes Two to Talk training in Glasgow in 1996. I think it was the first Scottish course and I was filled with enthusiasm. I recall the effort it took to arrange my first course, including finding a venue (my first venue was a converted stable block in a rural hospital!) and encouraging colleagues to pass on information to prospective families. Scottish parents also took quite a bit of convincing about the video feedback portion of the course. Carrying an enormous video camera around could never be discreet! From my first It Takes Two to Talk to many other Hanen programs, I’ve continued with unwavering enthusiasm to fly the Hanen flag in Lothian!


Totally worth it

Frankfurt, Germany

I took the Learning Language and Loving It workshop in Frankfurt in 2014. Everything was so very well organized, and the material seemed so complete and clear that I thought, “following a child’s lead is a simple thing to do”. It turned out it wasn’t: starting a conversation with a comment instead of a question, being face to face, counting silently until 10 and waiting for a response were hard things to put into practice. But every time I succeeded and every time I see a teacher I trained succeed and a dialogue begins, I am totally sure this is the right thing to do to support children becoming self-confident speakers.


A family's transformation

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hanen’s program was an amazing experience! Our son Juan learned to dress himself with very little help after one week into the program and, after the third week, he asked me to play with him during an OT session and kept playing happily with the therapist and myself for more than 45 minutes. But the greatest change has been for us, as parents, after we started to use Hanen strategies in our daily life. We can see that this approach makes our son feel the world is a safer place while he continues his marvelous process of growing and changing.


Tools for change

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I have been a speech therapist for 40 years. My daily work took a very important and positive turn with the addition of Hanen. When I started training parents through the More Than Words program, I saw firsthand the differences between parent-implemented intervention and therapist-implemented intervention. Now I have the tools to help parents become the primary agents of change and I feel very happy with the results.


Vital help in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

Using More Than Words and It Takes Two to Talk has proved to be very useful and vital in Kenya in helping parents of children with communication disabilities. Currently I facilitate communication camps with parents and their children with communication disabilities. I use most of the Hanen strategies and I am happy to say that parents here are adopting most of the strategies we share with them. They interact more with their children, go to the child's level, offer choices, imitate, speak slowly and say less, just to mention a few. Parents have agreed that this strategies are very useful and are now finding it easier to interact and understand their children better than before.


A new beginning

Cork, Ireland

We waited a long time to get a diagnosis for Gabriel. I remember the moment the doctor confirmed that it was mild autism. I was crying, but it was happy tears because I knew that all the waiting was over. I was relieved that we could finally move on and begin working on helping Gabriel reach his full potential. The TalkAbility program made a huge difference in how we communicated with Gabriel. It taught me that communication is not only about words. Gabriel is now 7 and he’s doing great. He loves sharing his passion for all things science.

Veronika Novak
Adapted from the article, “Diagnosis helps family move on”


Hanen in Ireland

Cork, Ireland

We’ve been running More Than Words and TalkAbility at the Cope Foundation for years, helping families of children with autism become their child’s language teachers. I’ve just supported a 4th year Speech and Language Therapy Student to conduct a piece of research on parents’ perceptions of TalkAbility, and she’s been accepted to publish a poster at IALP, an international congress in August in Dublin. It’s great that Cope will have a piece of Irish research about a Canadian programme in Cork. The sample is small but you’ve got to start somewhere!

Adapted from the article, “Diagnosis helps family move on”, April 22, 2016


A perfect fit for families in Bhutan


While traveling to Bhutan in 2015, I met an inspiring lady named Madam Beda Giri who has dedicated her life to helping families living with children with disabilities. She shared how they had no access to a Speech-Language Therapist in the country. She happened to be planning for International Autism Day 2016 at that time and asked if I could conduct a program for the families then. I instantly thought More Than Words would be a perfect fit and the idea of conducting the first ever Hanen program in Bhutan was very exciting! The program was a great success and it left families feeling very empowered with their newly acquired skills. A parent told me afterward that the workshop has given her newfound hope that her child (non-verbal then) would talk and call her mommy one day. Today her child is speaking in phrases!


Making words sparkle in Bhutan!

Thimphu, Bhutan

A very motivated Early Childhood Care & Development (ECCD) Facilitator and proprietor of preschool Hejo ECCD Centre, Madam Yangree Lhazom, was eager to learn about how to promote literacy in her classrooms and approached me about it. What better program to conduct than ABC and Beyond! Participants have since reported how effective the strategies are and how their interactions with children have vastly improved. They also observed increased interests displayed by the children learning vocabulary whenever new words were “sparkled”! It was really delightful to see such positive changes despite having covered only modules 1 and 2 of the program so far. Can’t wait to see what else these driven ECCD Facilitators can do for their children!


Reaching more children in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As Malaysia faces a critical shortage of SLPs, Hanen programs can help us reach out to more families effectively – the cause that motivates us to embark on a journey to discover the impact of parent training in the Malaysian context. With a grant from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, as well as support from The Hanen Centre, we began our journey by translating More Than Words program materials into the Malay language. Next, we’ll be measuring the changes in language and communication skills that mothers and their young children make after attending More Than Words in Malay. This is an exciting journey and we are eager to find out what our study shows!


La Princesa, "Estrellita"

Houston, USA

We videotaped a Mom as she offered choices of Halloween “hats” to her nonverbal daughter, “Estrellita,” ("Little Star" in Spanish). Mom was practicing observing and waiting. She responded to Estrellita’s eye gaze toward a beautiful crown. Smiles and giggles poured out as mom gently placed the crown and held up a mirror. THEN… a very subtle eye gaze shifted to the top of Mom’s head! Mom asked, “My turn?” She knelt and waited two full minutes for the transfer!!! She honored her daughter’s desire to independently bestow the same honor to her! Everyone overflowed with the joy of sharing those tender, two-way moments!


A new approach to help a boy with ASD

Petach-Tikva, Israel

I was sharing More Than Words® strategies with the mother of a 3½ year old boy. During one of our individual sessions, she said to me that she wished she'd known of this type of program in the early stages of her son's therapy. It made so much sense to her and she felt the strategies were focused and explained in way she could implement at home. This mother passed the information on to her husband who could not attend our sessions. She was excited to tell me that in one of her son's therapy sessions with his OT, her husband used "creative stupidity" and the OT was impressed!

Rinat Gold
Hanen SLP


United vision

Calgary, Canada

I have been a Hanen-certified speech-language pathologist for 20 years. I took my first Hanen workshop, It Takes Two to Talk, in 1997, and have continued to add Hanen workshops to my professional tool kit since then. I have applied Hanen strategies to my work with children and families, to empower preschool and school staff in Ontario and Alberta, and to develop the language skills of my own children. I believe Hanen’s responsive interaction strategies are foundational tools for parents, speech-language pathologists, teachers and early childhood educators in developing the speech and language skills of all young learners. I have also witnessed how this common language can strengthen collaboration within multi-disciplinary teams, creating a united vision in ensuring that every child receives the support and encouragement they need and deserve.


A little girl learns to tune in

Victoria, Australia

Skills learnt from TalkAbility have made our personal journey one of the most remembered, and we often put them into practice.

I used "Tuning In" strategies with my daughter during a three-hour art class. When she was about to give up, we discussed how we both paint "different" (we painted on the same canvas - me on the left, my daughter on the right) and how we "wonder" what would happen if you kept trying. The results were that my daughter understood that things can be different, and she should keep trying. She even played with a friend after the class with a doll house, which she has never done.

Vicky Robinson


A new understanding

Buenos Aires, Argentina

A mom in Buenos Aires talks about the tools she gained from the More Than Words program and how they helped her make a difference for her son.

Débora Dañil


A happier family

Buenos Aires, Argentina

A mom in Buenos Aires explains how her family changed with the More Than Words program and how it gave them a chance to connect and share experience with other families.

Luciana Duschatzky


Making the most of every moment

Madrid, Spain

With Hanen we have learned to make the most of every moment of the day with Miguel and to help in his communication and relationships with others.


A whole family benefits from It takes Two to Talk

Rome, Italy

My husband and I took part in the first It Takes Two to Talk program organized in Rome in 2012. It was an incredible experience for us: not only did we learn how to communicate with Matilde, our special daughter who wears hearing aids since she was 4 months old, but we learned how to understand her and her special needs. Trying to “be in her shoes”, we learned more about ourselves and our older son and since then our lives have been re-set to different standards. For the first time since we had discovered Matilde’s hearing impairment we felt understood and supported by people sharing the same difficulties and able to provide us with the right advice and concrete tips for everyday life! Not to mention the psychological support that we received: someone who really listened to our voices…at last! We have made new friends and... we still meet from time to time!

Claudia e Massimo Angelini


The beginning...

In the 1970s, early language intervention was all about speech-language pathologists "treating" children in a therapy room while parents sat in the waiting room and had little or no involvement in the process.

But research was coming to light that, with training, parents could play a critical role in promoting their child’s language skills. In the early 1970s, Dr. James MacDonald, a professor of Speech and Language Pathology and Developmental Disabilities at the Ohio State University, was training mothers of children with Down Syndrome to become their child’s communication partner and language facilitator, with excellent results. This new information gave speech-language pathologist Ayala Hanen Manolson, The Hanen Centre’s founder, the idea of providing training to the parents of the children on her caseload – but in a group format.

In this video, Ayala talks about how she first decided that the best way to help children with language delays was to teach their parents to become effective language facilitators. She describes the resistance she faced as a new SLP in a school board in Montreal and how she was finally granted permission to do what was unheard of at the time – offer a group training to parents. In this way, parents could learn how to help their own child develop better communication skills, making intervention an ongoing process in their child’s everyday life.


When OWL was a fledgling

Toronto, Canada

Hanen board member Derek Nelson talks about communicating with his young daughter and how he used OWL (Observe, Wait and Listen), which came to be one of Hanen’s foundational strategies for encouraging communication.


Full speed ahead!

Toronto, Canada

We're not stopping now and we know you aren’t either! Let’s look forward to 40 more years of helping young children reach their full communication potential.

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Sharing Hanen in Shanghai

Shanghai, China

Yi Lien and I were privileged to run our first More Than Words program in October 2016 at Olivia’s Place, Shanghai in October 2016, and a second program in April 2017. The program was presented in English (texts kept in original language) and Mandarin Chinese (verbal translation of the texts), as Mandarin Chinese was the dominant language of most of the attendees.

Parents reported that they love the structure of this program and learned to analyze their child’s behavior, communication and play skills based on Hanen’s stages as well as set goals that their child could achieve (instead of comparing their child’s performance to that of typical developing peers, and setting goals that may be too difficult for their child). Most parents observed an increase in responsiveness (e.g., eye-contact, imitation skills) from their child after implementing Hanen’s strategies.


OWL opens a family’s eyes

Amsterdam, Netherlands

With the Hanen program we learned to really communicate with our child, even without actually talking to each other.

A revelation, a few months ago, was jumping together on the trampoline. We always do this with lots of fun. But by Observing, Waiting and Listening (OWLing), the game suddenly got another dimension: it really became a game of us together. By stopping abruptly during jumping, I gave my son the chance to let me know that he wanted to continue!

This has greatly increased our joy and more importantly, our son suddenly had the opportunity to communicate with me and show me what he wants. The OWL principle really opened our eyes. Today, a few months later, we have expanded the principle and our son begins to clearly indicate (currently in his first words) what he wants.


The I'm Ready! Program is a success!

Muskoka, Canada

I was lucky to have the opportunity to run Hanen's I'm Ready! program at One Kids Place during the summer of 2017 in conjunction with Community Living South Muskoka. The feedback on the group was excellent! One parent expressed that she was not confident with her literacy skills and felt empowered to help her child read after the training. Other parents felt that their children were more excited to read stories and felt more comfortable communicating in general. I will definitely be running this group again!


Embracing change in the classroom

Wirral, England

I have run many Learning Language and Loving It programs over the years. My last one that I ran was fairly typical with participants being enthusiastic and motivated, particularly as the program progressed. Professionally, it is rewarding to see how they change their views and then their behaviours to make a positive impact on the children that they support. In this program we decided to carry out the Teacher Interaction and Language Rating Scale which really cemented our belief that through the program we can change the way teachers interact and provide language to young children. It was fantastic to see. In addition I have bumped into one of the participants on a number of occasions in a setting which I visit. She keeps telling me how wonderful the program is and how it has really changed how she talks with children. She, like myself and many others, feel that this should be core training for all early years educators.


When two words combine

Wirral, England

One of my all time favourite video clips was when I was carrying out a video of an educator interacting with a deaf child who was on my caseload. He was a First Words User just ready to make that leap up to being a Combiner. The educator was doing a fantastic job of OWLing and Following His Lead as well as expanding his first words by adding a word or two to make it longer. Half way through the interaction he said his first 2 words together. The look on the educators face was priceless as she realised the enormity of what had just happened. I was also ecstatic behind the camera and he went on during the video to use it again. Since then he has continued to make amazing progress.


Building blocks of literacy


I attended the Hanen Learning Language and Loving It and ABC and Beyond workshops. Hanen nicely sums the components of the “building blocks of literacy” as language and decoding. At the MSL Centre we specialize in working with children with dyslexia and I thought it would be ideal if we had an SLT on board to share about the language aspect to the rest of my staff. I then invited Jean Ho, a Hanen certified SLT that I met during the trainings. The training was a success with my staff. One of them, Huei Huei reported, “I like the structured teachings of the Hanen Learning Language and Loving It program. It is systematic and we get to practice with the action plans, which reinforced the concepts learnt during the activities. A fun and engaging method!.”

Seeing how the mechanics of reading and oral language development work hand in hand to promote literacy, Jean and I then signed up to be a part of the I'm Ready! pilot online worskhop together to learn how to extend Hanen's early literacy strategies into the home. We then ran the parent program, and parents who attended said it was extremely beneficial to learn about the two important components of literacy and hear from the respective professionals. It has been a very rewarding learning journey for me personally.


Helping families connect

North Queensland, Australia

The It Takes Two to Talk and More Than Words workshops changed the way I work as an SLP with families in early intervention. I now explain my role with families using a sporting analogy with the child as athlete, parents/caregivers as the trainer and me as coach; helping families connect through the power of communication. I not only use Hanen in my group work with families but it forms the basis of the therapeutic relationship from the first time I meet families.

I have gone on to do Learning Language and Loving It and advanced workshops ABC and Beyond and I'm Ready! for emergent literacy success. I use these strategies and the concepts of adult learning in my role as inclusion coach in North Queensland.

Hanen SLP


10 years of It Takes Two to Talk

Reading, England

I started my first job fresh out of University in 2005. Shortly afterwards in 2006 I was sent to the It Takes Two to Talk workshop to enable me to assist in presenting the parent program to parents of little ones. I had no idea what it was all about and after the 3 days I was a Hanen convert through and through!

Not only have I seen this program impact hundreds of families in my 10 years of presenting it, it has impacted my family life and that of my friends with young children too. Simple ideas, simply presented and so encouraging to families. The ripple effect that small changes can make is incredible to watch.

Thank you Hanen for being so consistent in my professional life and keep up the good work!

Hanen SLP


25 years of Hanen

Chicago, USA

For as long as I can remember, The Hanen Centre has been a friend, companion, and guide in both my clinical and research journey working with children with language disorders and their families. As a clinical researcher, I have consistently been drawn to the Hanen Programs due to their evidence-based practices, implementation research, and knowledge translation. While working with families to help support their children’s language and literacy abilities, I needed programs based on evidence that were easily implemented in the clinical and home settings. I have always valued and appreciated the family’s role in intervention as I have a younger brother with an intellectual disability (and recognize the need for “parents as partners and collaborators” in the treatment process).

Reflecting on my 25 years as an SLP, I whole-heartedly believe that parent-implemented interventions are vital to our field and to the families we serve. Parent-implemented interventions are especially important for families from low socioeconomic backgrounds for which childcare, transportation, and flexibility in scheduling therapy visits is often limited. Once parents understand their role in the intervention process, progression of steps in the treatment program, and their children’s progress, alliance and buy-in will continue to grow. The Hanen Programs readily support and promote these parent-implemented interventions. In closing, I want to congratulate the entire Hanen team in celebration of their 40th anniversary. It is with excitement, pride, and sincere gratitude that I thank the Hanen community for making me a more informed and purposeful SLP and researcher.


A spark of hope

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I took the It Takes Two to Talk program with my son. He doesn't connect with a lot of people, and it sometimes hurts to see him isolated in his own world. But this video makes my day. For the first time, I saw my son focusing on the doll during the entire therapy session. He was pampering the doll with a lullaby song, cuddling, happily kissing, tickling and imitating whatever Daddy and I did to him. It was beautiful to get to see him stay longer and get so connected. It's definitely a spark of hope for our family and we'll continue to support him until the end- we're not giving up!


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