I am a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist, which in my case means that I can lead three different Hanen Centre programs. The Hanen Centre trains speech-language pathologists all over the world to lead parent education programs. On their website they say:
Since 1975, The Hanen Centre has been an innovator in family-focused early language intervention, supporting parents, speech-language pathologists and educators worldwide in their efforts to develop language and literacy skills in preschool children.
We provide research-based parent programs and resources as well as professional development within four areas of expertise: General Language and Literacy Development, Language Delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger Syndrome.
The two programs that have the most applicability to our mission at LCA are <a href="http://www tamiflu for kids.hanen.org/Hanen-Programs/Programs-For-Parents/More-Than-Words-Parent-Program.aspx">More Than Words® and TalkAbility™, which are both family-focused programs that give parents of children with ASD and related social communication difficulties practical tools to help their children communicate.
Both programs include parent group sessions and home visits with the overall goal of empowering parents to feel confident and competent in supporting their children's development. It is very important to note that although speech-language pathologists have expertise in speech, language, and communication, each parent is an expert regarding their own child. Being a parent is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences an individual can have, and the right Hanen program can provide parents the tools to build stronger relationships with their children. Hanen focuses on encouraging strategies parents may already be using, and it provides a framework for practicing those strategies, and building confidence and competence in supporting children to exceed their potential, all while connecting with other parents who are going through similar situations.
I am very excited to announce that LCA is launching our very first More Than Words® program this summer!!! A FREE parent orientation will be held at LCA on Sunday, July 8 at 2 pm. We will be providing FREE childcare, so please do not hesitate to attend the orientation if you are at all curious about the program and how we will be implementing it here at LCA. We would love to see parents and other important caregivers such as grandparents, other family members, babysitters and nannies, who spend significant amounts of time with your child. The More Than Words® program seeks to get everyone on the same page to support your child's communication development, so the more the merrier!
In May, I wrote a blog entry titled Tackling Autism Together that referenced an article in the Seattle Times by Steve Kelley about the Seahawks General Manager, John Schneider, his wife Traci and their son Ben, who has autism. One of the quotes I was especially drawn to was Mr. Schneider's call to action, “Autism is an extremely fast-growing epidemic, and we have to help the parents so they can help their kids.” At LCA, we are working hard to empower parents, and More Than Words® is one way to achieve this goal.