The Hanen Program for Parents

More Than Words (MTW): More Than Words - The Hanen Program for Parents® is a family-focused program that gives parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related social communication difficulties, practical tools to help their children communicate. The More Than Words program is geared towards non-verbal communicators. It emphasizes the child's everyday activities as the context for learning to communicate. The program consists of eight two-hour training lectures and three thirty minute video feedback sessions (VFB) spanning 8 consecutive weeks.

It Takes Two to Talk (IT4): It Takes Two to Talk - The Hanen Program for Parents® is a well-known model of family-focused early intervention for young children with expressive and/or receptive language delays. The goal of It Takes Two to Talk is to enable parents to become their child's primary language facilitator, thereby maximizing the child's opportunities for communication development in everyday situations. It Takes Two To Talk is designed for toddlers and preschool-age children with specific language impairment, as well as for children with cognitive and developmental delays under the age of five. The program consists of eight two-hour training lectures and three thirty minute video feedback (VFB) sessions spanning 8 consecutive weeks.

The next program will consist of:

*An 8 week intervention block
*12 total sessions including 8 two-hour group seminar lectures and 3 individual video feedback sessions, and one orientation
*17.5 total hours of training

Orientation Meeting

Come and learn more about The Hanen Program for Parents! To reserve your spot please send an email with your contact information including your name, your child's name and age, your phone number, and the best times to call to:

The next MTW orientation meeting will be held on:

*January 9, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings will be held at the Home Clinic of Alicia Sperrazza, M.A. CCC-SLP:

*129 E. Evans St., Orlando, FL 32804

Program Options

The Hanen Program Only

*Parents commit to attend 8 seminar lectures and 3 VFB sessions

*Parents must arrange childcare for their dependents during the seminar

*Flat rate: $500 for 12 sessions...roughly $40/lecture or $28.50/hour

*For the flat rate parents receive 17.5 hours of training over 9 consecutive weeks

Clients with Early Steps as a Pay Source

IMPORTANT: Please disregard the information provided in "Program Options" as this information does not pertain to Early Steps clients.

Child Care: Both parents and members of the immediate family who are communication partners to the child are encouraged to attend the program. CHILDCARE IS NOT PROVIDED DURING THE LECTURES. Appropriate arrangements must be made privately. Children are required only during video feedback and review.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Than Words 2012!

Welcome to a new year of Hanen Programs! The next MTW orientation is scheduled for January. We have a very full orientation and the roster has been closed to incoming referrals. That's great news! Here is some extra information for attendees...

A) If you would like to reserve a spot for the orientation and have not already done so, please send an email with "January Hanen Confirmation" in the subject line. Include your child's name, birthdate, contact information (phone and email), and case worker's name (for those families referred by Early Steps).

B) Please remember that childcare is not provided and arrangements need to be made privately. I can typically get names of some college aged students in the communication disorders department at UCF that are willing to babysit in home. These students are a bit older, more studied, and more tolerant than your average babysitters and can always use extra funds.

C) The home clinic is a functional is a duplex where I live on one side and work on the other...this means that you will be driving through a neighborhood and will look for a residence not a professional office facility. The home clinic is a one story yellow cinderblock house. The entrance is on the side of the building. Landmark: tropical flamingo mural by door and mailbox. It is located on a corner lot and there is plenty of street parking.

D) Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. Written questions (via email or text) will be answered more rapidly than voicemail.

See you all in January! I look forward to meeting and working with all of your families!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New year...New Hanen Program!

Happy New Year! Another year, another opportunity to reach out and create change! The next Hanen Program will begin at the end of January (Jan 26). Please note that this is a change from the originally scheduled date. Unfortunately, our roster was not full enough for the earlier start date. I look forward to seeing everyone in the new year! Feel free to email any questions or concerns.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

M.A. in Education

No more pencils, no more books, and no more teacher's dirty looks!!! I have successfully completed my coursework and thesis for a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis on exceptional education. My first Master's Degree is in Speech and Language Pathology. Thank you to all of my friends, family, and colleagues that supported me throughout the tedious research process.

My thesis proposal?...The Merit of Parent Education as a Model/Method of Early Intervention: Should Insurance Pay For It? In 8 weeks of parent program I always see children make improvements which I can attribute directly to the parent since I have minimal interaction with their children. I argue that if parents educate themselves and take a primary role as "interventionist" then their children will need less treatment in the long run, which would save secondary paysources money overall (can't prove this without longitudinal study, but it makes sense)...and if parents are the primary "interventionist" then don't we all think insurance should pay for that training?

Right now there are very few secondary paysources that will pay for parent education. This is due to a semantic debate over who is recieving the service...the child or the parent. Whose insurance is being billed...the child's or the parent's. This is just silly since the child is insured under the parent...but secondary paysources also don't consider parent education as medically necessary. *Sigh...someday we'll get everyone on the same page. This is why I try to make the Hanen Programs for Parents a very affordable supplement or alternative to traditional least for 8 week increments...

Thanks again to everyone who stuck by me during the most stressed out years of my life (2008-2010). You've seen me through the end of a marriage, the loss of a parent, the opening of my home-based clinic, and the gaining of a second degree!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hanen Program Testimonial

"Since we started this process with our son a year ago, I have been wondering where to go to learn how to help our son develop and move ahead at home. Finally, I found it! The Hanen course More Than Words has been exactly what I've been looking for. Finally I'm being equipped to help my son. Now I know how to challenge him to communicate, engage, play, and deepen his social interactions in the middle of every day life. The course is so practical, with multiple examples of how to apply these principles and techniques in every area: verbal communication, play, reading books, using visual aids, etc. Already we are giving Jack more reasons to communicate - and he is using more words, imitating more often and starting to put 2 and 3 words together - in just a few weeks time. Thank you so much for all your help!"

- C.K. Hanen Program Parent

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Hello Hanen community!

The current More Than Words program is at mid-term! All families are doing so well...thanks for attending so consistently. :) We've discussed and implemented the following communication strategies:

Follow your child's lead
Observe, wait, and listen (OWL)
The Four I's-Intrude, imitate, interpret, include (your child's interest)
R.O.C.K.-Repeat, offer opportunity, cue, keep it fun
The Four S's-Say less, stress, go slow, show

Our video feedback sessions have also been very successful. After session 5 we will have learned all the strategies and will use the rest of the program to practice implementation of the strategies and brainstorm functional activities to do at home. Keep up the great work, Families! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The orientation date has been set and spots are filling up fast! Send an email to reserve your spot and ask specific questions. I will try to answer them all. The following are payment options for the upcoming More Than Words program starting in January:

For the Hanen Program only ($480), I do ask for payment up front. Participants are encouraged, not required, to attend all sessions. Payment at the start of the program encourages you (or loved ones) to attend all sessions and holds you responsible for your attendance to the program. Also, if you are not able to attend a session, you may send a substitute to sit in for you. The information in this program is valid for anyone who communicates with your child (family members, babysitter, teacher, etc.).

I realize that sometimes it is not possible to come up with the payment up front (especially right after the holidays) but I do not want this to deter you from coming to the program! So, I'm offering a holiday break and allowing participants with the Hanen Program Only option the same payment arrangement as the Hanen Program plus Intervention option.

For the Hanen Program plus 8 weeks of Intervention for your child, we allow participants to pay 1/2 at the start of the program and 1/2 at the midterm. We do not allow payment after services are rendered for the reasons mentioned above. Parent education is essential for any parent of a child with special needs. Again, you are encouraged to attend all of the sessions.

Parents are also encouraged to buy the companion book to the program. This can be purchased from from their online store. Parents are given the option of a loan of the required companion book from our library. Borrowed books require a $53 refundable deposit in the form of check or cash. Should you choose to keep the text, your deposit will be cashed and used to replace the text for the next group. Should you return the book, the deposit will be returned to you. (I have not had a family yet who has returned the's an easy read!)

Please feel free to email me any specific concerns you may have and keep checking the blog for updates! I look forward to answering your questions!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Airplane Analogy

So, many times I hear parents expressing concerns about their child by saying things like "My child can't..." or "I don't understand why my child doesn't..." or "What can I do to help my child?" The typical first step?...someone (doctor, teacher, friend, or family) refers the child for treatment of the delayed areas. Individual treatment can typically be received up to a few times per week. Listen, it is not often that you'll be told this, but one to two times per week for 30 to 60 minutes will be a waste of your time and money if you don't have the requisite knowledge to keep the strategies going outside of a therapy session. What I find parents often doing is pouring time and money into educating their child and spending little to no time educating themselves as the child's primary caregiver.

This reminds me of air travel and something I call "The Airplane Analogy." At the beginning of every flight, the flight attendants discuss a variety of safety tips during flight. One particular safety tip stands out to me. If there is a drop in cabin pressure and the oxygen masks come down, you are instructed to place the mask on yourself first and then assist any child accompanying you. Why is this? This is because in a difficult situation, how are you, as the parent, supposed to care for your child if you are incapacitated? Well, this is not dissimilar to what a parent should experience in the presence of an unexplained or daunting diagnosis such as communication delays or autism. In the presence of a difficult situation it is imperative that parents be equipped with the right knowledge before they can help their child. Parent education is vital in any therapeutic circumstance.

The Hanen Program for Parents can and should be used as a parents'/caregivers' first line of defense when the tough questions arise. If you teach yourself the same intervention strategies that the therapists use, your child will need less treatment in the long run since therapy will be an everyday occurrence!