More Than Words® Resources to Support Speech-language Pathology Services
As a speech-language pathologist, you know that an involved and informed parent is a child’s best chance at reaching his or her communication potential. How well a speech-language pathologist supports and informs parents determines, in large part, how involved the parents become and how successful they are in helping their child.
An important part of supporting parents of children with ASD is helping them understand and apply what they are learning. To accomplish this, speech-language pathologists need effective, parent-friendly tools that can be shared with parents to reinforce what is being taught during sessions and to allow the learning process to continue and be cemented at home. These tools are a vital part of the intervention, but not all resources for parents are created equal.
More Than Words® – A practical, research-based solution
The More Than Words parent guidebook and DVD were specifically created for parents of children on the autism spectrum. As a speech-language pathologist, you'll find More Than Words resources helpful in your service to these families because they:
- Are practical and user-friendly
- Reflect current research and best practice
- Supplement and reinforce the strategies you are teaching parents
- Provide a step-by-step guide for parents to refer to between sessions
- Enable parents to apply the strategies they have learned to a variety of everyday routines and activities with their child
The More Than Words guidebook and DVD show parents how to turn everyday activities into learning opportunities, empowering them to help their child achieve the following three goals:
- Improved social-conversational skills;
- More mature and conventional expressive communication; and
- Improved receptive language.
More Than Words resources offer parents practical guidance regarding how to:
- identify their child’s communication stage and set goals accordingly
- identify their child’s sensory preferences and accommodate these to heighten learning during enjoyable interactions
- follow their child’s lead, when appropriate
- structure routines (play and daily routines) to increase turn-taking and language-learning
- adjust the way they talk to increase their child’s receptive language and vocabulary
- use visual aids to foster interaction and receptive language
- use music, books, and toys to maximize interaction and language-learning
- help their child make friends
The strategies parents learn from More Than Words resources are phrased in user-friendly language that parents can understand. For example: “R.O.C.K.™ in your Routine” outlines for parents how to:
Repeat what you say and do;
Offer opportunities for your child to take a turn;
Cue your child to take his turn; and
Keep it fun! Keep it going!
In addition, both the More Than Words guidebook and DVD contain numerous examples of the strategies being used with children at each of the four More Than Words stages of communication development. Once parents identify their own child’s stage of communication development, they can then zero in on the recommended strategies for their own child. The examples give parents a clear idea of what to do and how to do it, taking the guesswork out of language facilitation and giving parents the confidence to become their child’s language facilitator.
The strategies outlined in More Than Words resources are the same ones parents learn in More Than Words — The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Click on the link below for a detailed research summary describing the evidence in support of the More Than Words Program and its strategies.
Why Use More Than Words® resources in your clinical practice?
Speech-language pathologists tell us they have many uses for More Than Words resources which make the intervention process easier and more interesting!
►More Than Words® gives parents a head start while waiting for services
If a child with autism is on a waiting list for therapy, More Than Words resources are a great way to empower his parents to take action and begin the intervention process. By the time they get to see you, they should already have begun to inform themselves.
►More Than Words® supplements therapy sessions and home programming
If you’re already providing speech and language services to a family of a child with autism, More Than Words resources can supplement the services and home programming you’re providing to parents.
More Than Words resources can be easily integrated into your therapy sessions with children with autism and their families. If parents have difficulty understanding a concept or how a strategy is applied, you can demonstrate this by showing a short video clip from the More Than Words DVD, or flipping to a relevant page in the parent guidebook. The guidebook explains concepts and strategies using simple language and pictorial examples, while the DVD demonstrates the strategies in action (See the case study below for specific examples of how to integrate these resources into your therapy sessions).
And because More Than Words is so packed with tips and suggestions, you can even use it to add ideas to your own clinical toolbox!
►More Than Words® promotes active learning for parents
The More Than Words guidebook and DVD are companion resources that work together to actively engage parents as adult learners.
Studies have shown that adults learn best when they are exposed to numerous examples and relevant demonstrations and when they are able to practice what they’ve learned.
In an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, each chapter of the More Than Words guidebook outlines a strategy and encourages parents to use the strategies by offering guidance and helpful examples. Each chapter of the guidebook corresponds to a section of the companion DVD in which parents can watch real-life examples of the strategies in action. By watching the way other parents implement the strategies in everyday, real-life situations, parents can easily figure out whether they are using the strategy appropriately or whether it needs to be modified.
In this way, the More Than Words guidebook and DVD offer a comprehensive learning experience for parents that increases the likelihood that they will practice and retain the strategies and information they have learned.
►More Than Words® targets the specific needs of individual children
More Than Words resources take the guesswork out of identifying which strategies are appropriate for specific children. Once you know the communication stage of a child with autism, More Than Words resources make it easy to pick the corresponding strategies that should be used with a child at that stage.
Using More Than Words® resources in your clinical practice
The case study below provides an example of how one speech-language pathologist used the More Than Words guidebook and DVD in her clinical practice. Click on the excerpts from the resources to see for yourself!
Carolyn B has a private practice in which ninety percent of the children on her caseload have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or are suspected of having ASD. She is waiting for a More Than Words workshop training to come to her community, but in the meantime she has found the More Than Words guidebook and companion DVD very helpful in her therapy sessions. Here’s how she used More Than Words resources in her very first visit with Brady, a four-year old boy whose parents, Kelly and Ian, came to her for intervention.
After doing her initial assessment and discussing Kelly and Ian’s concerns with them, Carolyn popped the More Than Words DVD into her computer so the parents could watch a video clip of four-year old Isaac. Like Brady, Isaac uses words, phrases and sentences, but still doesn’t have a conversation with anyone or even look at his parents’ faces. Click on the link below to see the clip Carolyn used:
Watching the video, Kelly and Ian saw the similarities between their son and Isaac. Carolyn explained that Isaac is at the Early Communicator stage. She then opened the More Than Words guidebook to pages 33 and 62 (click here to see these pages) and went over the communication, social hallmarks and goals for a child at the Early Communicator stage. Carolyn attached some Post-It™ notes to these key pages in the book so that Kelly and Ian could read them for themselves at home.
Carolyn wanted the parents to leave her clinic with something practical to do at home that week. She explained how helping a child enjoy interactions is like detective work since parents have to figure out what motivates their child to join in activities with others. Once again, Carolyn used the DVD to show parents what she meant. She fast-forwarded to the clip of Isaac jumping up and down on a trampoline and watching his flicking fingers. Carolyn paused the DVD and asked Kelly and Ian what Isaac’s parents could learn from watching their son. It was easy for Brady’s parents to see that Isaac loved movement. Carolyn played the rest of this clip so that Kelly and Ian could see how Isaac’s dad used Isaac’s preference for running and jumping to create fun-filled, motivating activities.These activities helped Isaac learn to pay attention to his dad and even communicate to him that he wanted the game to continue. Click on the link below to view this clip:
Carolyn returned to the More Than Words guidebook and showed Kelly and Ian Chapter 5. This chapter describes “people games” – physical games like the ones Isaac was playing with his dad (click here to see pages from Chapter 5).Carolyn advised Brady’s parents that as they read the guidebook, they should think about one or two games they would like to try the following week with Brady.
What Professionals Say About More Than Words®…
“More Than Words in a ‘must-have’ reference for parents of children with ASD, and for professionals supporting parents. More Than Words respects the need for parents to be parents and for children to be children – and to learn as children learn using developmentally appropriate practices.”
- Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
To empower parents to help their children connect and communicate more meaningfully with the world, click on the link below to order More Than Words resources: