Throughout 2020 Kids Plus have been running the incredible Hanen Program – It Takes Two To Talk – a program for parents of children (birth to 5) with language delays.

The Hanen Program was developed in 1975 by Canadian speech-language pathologist Ayala Hanen Manolson and recognises that parents are the most important people in their children’s lives. The Hanen approach has lead the way in changing early language intervention by putting parents first in order to help their children best.

Kids Plus’ Speech Pathologists Rachel Harkin and Victoria Roache undertook training in the Hanen Program in 2019, and introduced the It Takes Two to Talk program for the first group of parents during 2020.

The It Takes Two to Talk program translates research on early language intervention into concrete strategies that are easy for parents to unde

rstand and put into practice.

During the program parents learn practical and powerful strategies to help their children communicate and interact during every day routines and activities. It is within these familiar, real life interactions with them that their children’s communication will grow.

Program participants, Erica and Ben, have noticed incredible differences in their daughter Harper since implementing strategies that the program has taught them.

“We were excited to start the Hanen program and right from the beginning it has been very informative. We have learnt so much about not only communicating with children that have some form of impairment, but also learnt so much about ourselves. We feel half of the program is about learning strategies to better communicate with our child (this can really be applied to any child and even adults) and the other half is about better understanding ourselves and how we interact without even knowing.

So far through this course our daughter Harper has really improved with her speech and we’re really able to target key words we’d like her to start learning. It doesn’t always work, but even play time is a lot more engaging for both Harper and ourselves.

We feel that a lot of people would already be applying a lot of the strategies without even knowing it, but once made aware of it we were really able to fine tune our interactions to get the most out of Harper”.

Over 8 sessions, parents learn how their child communicates right now and the next steps to take, what motivates their child to communicate, how they can engage their children in back and forth conversations and how to turn everyday activities into opportunities for their child to learn language.

Parents also participate in individual sessions. Within these 1:1 sessions across the Program, parents/carers practice the strategies that they have learnt during the group sessions using their tailored home plans through the method of video-coaching.

Kids Plus will be bringing the Hanen Program back in 2021.