Workshop 3: It Takes Two to Talk

  A Hanen Program for parents/caregivers with children, newborn-5 years of age, who are at risk for or have a diagnosed expressive and/or receptive language delay. The goal of It Takes Two to Talk is to enable parents to become their child’s primary teacher, thereby maximizing the child’s opportunities for communication development in everyday situations.

Program Components

  • Delivered by a Hanen Certified speech language pathologist
  • Offered to groups of parents (up to eight families per program)
  • Pre-program consultation
  • Approx. 17.5 hours of group training
  • Three individual video feedback sessions for each family

It Takes Two to Talk has three objectives: parent education, early language intervention and social support.

Parent Education

Parents/caregivers learn basic concepts about communication and language that are essential in helping their child’s communication develop:

  • development of communication (with an emphasis on nonverbal communication)
  • difference between expressive and receptive language
  • importance of a child’s active participation in frequent, extended turn-taking interactions in order to set the stage for language learning
  • how and why their child communicates
  • child’s stage of communication development  allowing for setting realistic communication goals and enhancing parents’ responsiveness to their children’s communicative attempts.

Early Language Intervention

Parents/caregivers learn to apply strategies so that intervention becomes a natural part of their daily interactions with their child.  Strategies highlighted by the speech-language pathologist (SLP) for individual parents are specific to supporting their child’s communication goals.  These goals are developed collaboratively with the parents and modified over the course of the program. Since effective and consistent strategy use by parents is critical to the child’s progress, video feedback sessions play a major role in helping parents see and modify their interactive behaviour with their child.

Social Support

Parents/caregivers gain both formal and informal social support. The SLP, whose role includes that of group leader, interventionist, coach and counsellor provides more formal support. The parent group itself provides informal support through the sharing of experiences with individuals in similar situations.  Parents report that this constitutes a vitally important component of the program.