It Takes Two to Talk®
The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Language Delays
“Sarah” was a three year old with delayed language skills who attended weekly speech therapy sessions. Sarah’s mum sat in on her sessions so that she could carry over therapy activities at home. Her mum commented that because a typical day in her house was very busy with all of her children, she was concerned that she would not get time to practice Sarah’s speech therapy activities. Sarah’s mum then attended the Hanen Program ‘It Takes Two to Talk’, which is for parents of children who have a language delay. It aims to teach parents various strategies designed to be used in everyday situations such as dinner time, bath time, bedtime etc. This ensures a natural environment for a child to learn and progress.
The parents learn about which stage of communication their child is at and how to change their own language to suit their child’s needs. They also learn how to recognize a child’s various attempts at communication and how to respond effectively to these attempts. Sarah’s mum commented that she did not realize how often her daughter was trying to communicate with her each day. Even though Sarah was not speaking, she frequently communicated nonverbally through pointing or taking her mum’s hand to show her something. When her mum recognized all of Sarah’s attempts to communicate, she was able to use specific strategies to model language and thus stimulate language development. As the strategies became part of their daily routine, Sarah’s mum commented that she didn’t feel like they had to practice the speech therapy activities as they became a natural way to communicate. With continued input, Sarah gradually began using words to communicate. The strategies were very effective in developing Sarah’s language and had a positive impact on her overall communication.
Written by: Leah Bourke, Senior Speech & Language Therapist, DHA-P-0126287
Leah Bourke is an Irish Speech and Language Therapist, who has lived in Dubai for over five years. Her primary focus has been working with children with a wide range of communication difficulties in schools and clinical settings. Leah is skilled in administering a variety of assessment tools and implementing a range of treatment approaches. She also keeps up to date with current research and best practice guidelines. Leah is a strong advocate of educating and training parents and teachers to support children in reaching their potential. She enjoys working collaboratively with them to create and achieve goals for each child. She has a particular interest in phonological disorders and early language development and believes that each therapy session should be a fun environment for the child. Outside of work, Leah enjoys paddle boarding, scuba diving and travelling. Leah joined Sensation Station in early September 2014 and we are very happy and proud having such a wonderful member in our “sensational” team.
At Sensation Station we try to reach-out and help as many families as possible within a holistic approach and a multi-disciplinary setting. To read more about our Speech-Language Therapy.