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Helping Children with Language Delay Develop “Theory of Mind”

Published: Jan 16, 2017
Developing theory of mind (the ability to understand that different people can have different thoughts and beliefs) is an important part of any child’s development. Without theory of mind, children can have trouble taking turns, making friends, having conversations or understanding the perspectives of others. Discover how you can help your child develop theory of mind and “tune in” to the people in his life.
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Which Toys Work Best for Supporting Interactions with Your Child

Published: Dec 8, 2016
Have you ever noticed that some toys make it harder to start an interaction with your child than others? You’re not alone. New research shows that the type of toy you and your child play with can actually change your interactions. Find out what toys you can use to encourage conversation and why book reading is still the most effective way to introduce language to your child.

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Helping Young Readers in a Digital World

Published: Nov 30, 2016
Which do you prefer, reading on a screen or on paper? Do you think there’s a difference in how much you retain between the two mediums? In light of the increasing use of screen-reading (tablets, e-readers, phones etc…), it’s crucial to understand how screen reading impacts readers. In this article, we look at what research has to say on how technology may be shaping children’s reading habits and what this means for emergent readers…
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New Information About Why Early Intervention is Key for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published: Oct 18, 2016
We’ve heard a lot about early intervention when it comes to children with on the autism spectrum. But why is it so important to start helping these children as early as possible? Discover the research behind early intervention and find out why children should start learning language as early as possible.
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Helping Children Learn English as a Second Language

Published: Aug 26, 2016
Parents often wonder how they can help their child learn English as a second language, but they often already have all the tools they need – the types of parent-child interactions that help children learn their first language can help them learn their second language as well. Here are some tips on promoting second language learning, based on the latest research.
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Combining Words Together: A Big Step in Language Development

Published: Aug 2, 2016
First words are always exciting, but a child’s first combination of two different words is just as important. In fact, research shows that children who are late to combine words are more at risk for future problems with language than children who were late with their first words. Discover when your child should start putting words together, what to do if you suspect a delay, and how you can help him start making combinations.
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How to Build Language and Literacy Through Powerful Conversations

Published: Jul 18, 2016
Children learn language and literacy skills best during powerful, high-quality conversations with the important adults in their lives. Learn what the ingredients of a powerful conversation are, and get specific tips for what you can do during these conversations to build the important skills your child needs to learn.
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Verbs Pave the Way for Language Development

Published: Jun 20, 2016
You may have noticed that a child’s first words are usually the names of people or things, like “Mama”, “Dada”, “ball” or “car”. But by the age of two, young children should also be saying verbs. In fact, verb use at this age has been linked to more advanced grammatical skills six months later. Here are some tips for helping young children learn and use verbs.
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It’s Quality, Not Just Quantity, That Helps Your Child Develop Language

Published: May 13, 2016
Parents are often advised to “talk a lot” to their child to help him learn language. But recent study shows that the number of words a child hears is not what’s most important. Rather, it’s the quality of the interaction between the parent and child that makes the biggest difference. Find out what you can do to encourage the kinds of quality interactions that help your child learn best.
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Why Interaction Must Come Before Language

Published: May 2, 2016
Every parent is eager to hear their child use words and start putting sentences together. But did you know that there’s a long list of things a child must learn about communication before he can begin to communicate with words? Find out what these “pre-language” skills are, and how you can promote them during everyday interactions with your child.
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Pretend Play Should Be Fun, Not Work!

Published: Feb 16, 2016
Pretend play skills are closely linked with the development of language, social and emotional skills. Children with autism may need extra help to learn to pretend, but just showing them how to do pretend play actions isn't enough. find out how to add that one critical ingredient your child needs to truly pretend – fun!
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The Importance of Gestures

Published: Jan 13, 2016
Did you know that the ability to use gestures is an important precursor for language development? Children who produce more gestures early on have been shown to have larger vocabularies and better story-telling abilities later on. Find out what you can do encourage your child’s gesture use during everyday interactions.
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Encouraging Pretend Play in Children with Social Communication Difficulties

Published: Dec 7, 2015
Promoting pretend play development is a critical part of supporting young children with autism, and parents are key players in helping their child build these skills. Here’s some helpful information about why pretend play is important and what parents can do to help.
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Dads Can Make a Difference! Getting Dads of Children with Autism Involved in Intervention

Published: Oct 14, 2015
Mothers are often more involved than fathers in early language intervention for children with autism. But should that be the case? Studies show that Dads play a critical and unique role in supporting their child's communication development, and their involvement should always be encouraged.
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Preparing Preschoolers for "School Talk"

Published: Sep 10, 2015
When children start school, they’re suddenly expected to use and understand a very different kind of language from the one they’re used to hearing. Parents and childcare providers can give children a good head start by exposing them to “school talk” early so that they’re well prepared when they start school.
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Creating Safe(r) Screen Time for Your Child

Published: Jul 8, 2015
Though studies continue to show that children learn best from interacting with people, not screens, the fact is that media is large and unavoidable part of our lives. The good news is that children can learn from a limited amount screen time as long as parents follow a few important guidelines...
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Which Children with Autism Develop Better Communication Skills?

Published: Apr 9, 2015
Researchers have identified three critical skills that are connected to better communication skills later in life for children with autism: joint attention, imitation and toy play. Why are these skills so important for communication, and what can you do to help your child develop them?
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“Tuning In” to Others: How Young Children Develop Theory of Mind

Published: Mar 4, 2015
Having a ‘theory of mind” means understanding that other people’s thoughts and feelings may be different from your own. Children with autism have difficulty developing theory of mind, which can make social interactions difficult. Find out what you can do during everyday interactions with your child to help him tune in to the thoughts and feelings of others.
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Five Books, Five Literacy-Building Ideas!

Published: Feb 23, 2015
Early literacy skills are the “tools” your child needs to learn to read and write, so the more early literacy skills she has now, the better prepared she’ll be for school. Here are some fun tips for building the five critical early literacy skills your child needs to learn before she starts school…
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Was That Intentional? Helping Young Children with Communication Delays Send Purposeful Messages

Published: Jan 15, 2015
A big developmental step happens when young children learn to send messages intentionally – that is, when they learn to communicate directly to someone to achieve a specific goal. Find out what parents of children with communication delays can do encourage their child’s intentional communication.
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What Makes Your Child "Tick"? Using Children’s Interests to Build Communication Skills

Published: Nov 28, 2014
Many studies show that children’s best learning occurs when adults engage them in everyday activities that are based on their interests. Find out how to take a closer look at your child’s interests and use them to create a variety of enjoyable learning opportunities.

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Imitation with Children on the Autism Spectrum: More Than Just a Game of Copycat

Published: Oct 7, 2014
When you imitate actions back and forth with your child, you’re doing much more than playing a little game together. The ability of a child with autism to imitate the actions of others has been linked to the development of a variety of skills, from toy play skills to peer play skills to language skills.
Find out what the latest research says and how you can help your child learn to imitate.
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Teaching Children to Think: Meeting the Demands of the 21st Century

Published: Sep 8, 2014
With the advent of Google and modern technology, the role of the classroom teacher has had to evolve. Educators no longer need to focus on being “information keepers and dispensers.” Instead, they can focus on building the critical thinking skills that are becoming so important in the 21st century. Find out how Canada and other countries around the world are re-defining the role of the teacher to meet the education needs of today’s children.
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More Than ABCs: Building the Critical Thinking Skills Your Child Needs for Literacy Success

Published: Aug 21, 2014
To truly understand a story, your child needs to go beyond the words and pictures on the page and use her critical thinking skills. Find out how you can promote your child's understanding during book reading with "E's and P's" — the building blocks of critical thinking.
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E-Book or Paper Book − What’s Best for Young Children?

Published: Jul 2, 2014
Concern has been raised about how much time children are spending in front of screens, and whether they learn as much from e-books as they do from traditional print books. There have been several studies about e-books over the past decade, and they have revealed both advantages and disadvantages...
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What Is Behaviour Regulation? And What Does It Have To Do With Language Development?

Published: Jun 26, 2014
A child's ability to regulate his own behaviour is closely related to his language development. Studies have shown that preschool children who have better behaviour regulation skills also have better early literacy, vocabulary, and math skills.

What are some of the things you can do to promote your child's behaviour regulation and support his language development?
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Talking to Young Children Makes a Big Difference!

Published: May 28, 2014
How many words does your child hear in a day? A recent study by researchers at Stanford University confirmed that children who hear more words in a day have better speech-processing skills. And the better children’s speech-processing skills, the faster they can learn new words and build the large vocabularies that set the stage for success in school.
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R.O.C.K.™ in People Games: Building Communication in Children with ASD or Social Communication Difficulties

Published: Apr 8, 2014
People games are fun, physical activities that you can play with your child to help build his interaction and communication skills. People games are particularly helpful for children with autism and other social communication difficulties because they provide many opportunities to build some of the key interaction skills that these children often have difficulties with.
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Promoting Language with Books

Published: Feb 25, 2014
It’s hard to find a website or pamphlet today about child development that doesn’t say something about the importance of reading with young children. But what exactly is it about books that makes them such a powerful tool for promoting children’s development? And what are some things you can do during book reading to ensure that you child has the best chances to learn?
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Getting Ready to Read

Published: Jan 28, 2014
Did you know that your child’s journey toward literacy starts long before she begins to read and write? In fact, by the time your child starts school, she’ll need a solid foundation of several “early literacy skills” – the building blocks for learning to read and write successfully. Find out what you can start doing right now to build these critical skills and prepare your child for reading success.
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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Early Literacy: Common Misconceptions

Published: Oct 24, 2013
If you have a child with autism, you may have been told to wait until he can talk before helping him learn early literacy skills. Or perhaps you heard that flashcards are the best way to prepare your child to learn to read. How do you know if you’re getting good advice? This article clears up a number of common misconceptions about helping young children with autism develop early literacy skills.
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Does Baby Sign Make a Difference?

Published: Jul 25, 2013
If you Google "baby sign", you’ll find claims that teaching sign language to typically-developing babies helps them to speak sooner, develop larger vocabularies, have stronger cognitive skills, and feel closer to their parents. But does research actually support these claims? If parents are looking for the best ways to support their child’s language development, is baby sign really the answer?
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Build Your Child’s Vocabulary

Published: Jun 27, 2013
Did you know that the words your child hears at home will directly impact the size of his vocabulary when he starts school? A new study shows that it’s not just the number of words a child hears at home, but the quality of those words and the way the parent uses them that is extremely important. Find out how you can build your preschooler’s vocabulary now so that he has the best possible start when he goes to school.
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Give Your Child a Reason to Communicate with Bubbles

Published: Apr 15, 2013
If you have a young child on the autism spectrum, playing with bubbles can be great activity for encouraging interaction and helping your child learn to send messages. This article offers lots of tips for making the most of bubble play to encourage communication.
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Early Signs of Autism

Published: Mar 28, 2013
Because early intervention leads to better outcomes for children with autism, early detection is more important than ever. Young children with autism don’t all have the same characteristics, but there are early signs that tell you there is a concern. What are the signs to look out for? And what should you do if you see some of these signs?
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The Truth About Kids' Lies

Published: Feb 26, 2013
Has your child ever looked you in the eye and told you she didn’t eat the last cookie, even though her face was covered in crumbs? And did you worry that she had just taken her first step down a dangerous path of deceit? It may surprise you to learn that aside from being a normal part of development, lying reflects a very important milestone in your child’s social skills development.
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Can Your Baby Really Learn to Read?

Published: Jan 24, 2013
Proponents of teaching babies to read claim that through repeated exposure to printed words on flashcards and DVDs, infants eventually learn to “read” these words. But are these babies really reading? And if not, is there anything parents can do with their babies that will make a real difference in developing early literacy skills?
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"A" is for Apple: What Kids Can Learn at the Grocery Store

Published: Dec 18, 2012
While grocery shopping with children can sometimes be stressful, there are ways of turning this regular outing into an opportunity for interaction, conversation, and fun! Find out how you can make the most of this time with your child to encourage her to use and learn language.
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Toys That Kick-start the Imagination!

Published: Nov 22, 2012
Toys are a great way to stimulate your child’s imagination and encourage pretend play. But some toys are better than others in their power to kick-start the imagination...
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The Land of Make Believe: How and Why to Encourage Pretend Play

Published: Nov 22, 2012
When your child pretends to be a pilot or a pirate, he’s doing much more than having fun. He’s learning to use his language to create imaginary situations and developing critical thinking skills that he’ll use throughout his life. Follow the easy steps in this article to maximize your child’s learning during pretend play activities.
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Follow the Leader: The Power of Imitating Children with Autism

Published: Oct 25, 2012
If you have a child with autism spectrum disorder, you may find it difficult to join in with him when he’s playing, or to catch his attention when you want to show him something. Find out how copying or imitating your child can be a fun and easy way to connect with him and get him to notice you.
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Does child care make a difference to children’s development?
Clarifying common assumptions about child care

Published: Sep 13, 2012
Do children who attend child care have better outcomes than children who are cared for at home by their mothers? Do children with special needs benefit from increased hours in child care? Find out what the research says about these and other common assumptions about child care.
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"Good job!" Is Praising Young Children a Good idea?

Published: Jul 26, 2012
"Good job!", "Awesome!", "What a beautiful picture!" These are just a few of the encouraging phrases you might hear at any playground or preschool. But does praise like this actually build a child’s confidence? Find out how the kind of praise you offer your child can make the difference between encouraging and discouraging your child to embrace new challenges.
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Helping Your Child Cope with his Sensory Needs

Published: Mar 30, 2012
Children with autism often have difficulty processing information taken in through the senses. Some children may be over-sensitive to certain sensations, while others are under-sensitive. Discover what you can do to meet your child’s particular sensory needs while at the same time creating fun opportunities for communication and interaction.
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More Than Meets the Eye: The Importance of Helping Children with Asperger's Tune in to People's Eyes

Published: Mar 30, 2012
Communication doesn’t just happen verbally. Much of what people are thinking and feeling is conveyed through the eyes and face. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) have difficulty understanding this important information that people send non-verbally.
 
Find out what you can do to help your child with AS or HFA tune into your face and eyes to make it easier for him to understand non-verbal messages. 

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Which Books are Best? How the Type of Book Affects Children’s Language Learning

Published: Feb 15, 2012
Can electronic books promote language and literacy as well as paper books?  Do moving parts in a book help children learn or are they distracting?  Do the types of pictures in a book affect what a child learns? Find out what the research says.
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Can children with language impairments learn two languages?

Published: Jan 18, 2012
Is it wise to introduce a second language to children who have language delays? Is a second language immersion program a good idea? When a child is diagnosed as language delayed, should bilingual parents stop speaking to him in their home language? Find out what the latest research says about this topic.
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Bilingualism in Young Children: Separating Fact from Fiction

Published: Dec 21, 2011
Is bilingualism an advantage to a young child or can it cause language difficulties? Should parents speak their native language to their children or should they try to speak the “majority” language? Discover what the research says about children learning two languages.
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Infants and Toddlers "Unplugged": New Recommendations about Media Use from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Published: Nov 24, 2011
Many babies and toddlers under the age of two spend a significant amount of time watching “educational” programming or videos. But does watching such programming really help children learn?  New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that parents should re-think the amount of time their toddler spends in front of the television…
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Parents as “Speech Therapists”: What a New Study Shows

Published: Oct 20, 2011
As a parent, you know that you play an important role in helping your child communicate. But did you know that when you learn to interact with your child in certain ways, you can be just as effective at helping your child as a speech-language pathologist? Learn more.
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A Closer Look at the Late Talker Study: Why Parents Should Beware of a ‘Wait and See’ Approach

Published: Jul 15, 2011
The results of a recent Australian study on the emotional outcomes of late talking toddlers have been reported under headlines such as, “Late Talkers Do Fine as They Grow Up” and “Late-Talking Toddlers Likely to Be Fine by Age 5”.  But could such headlines be giving false assurance to parents whose children are late to talk?
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How to Tell if Your Child is a Late Talker – And What to Do about It

Published: Jul 14, 2011
When parents notice that their toddler is late to talk, their first instinct is to seek help. But  they’re often told by friends, family, and even their doctor that their child will probably “grow out of it”, and that they should just “wait and see”. But is a ‘wait and see’ approach really a good idea?  Or could parents be losing precious time?

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Do second and third-born children really talk late? The effect of birth order on language development

Published: Jul 11, 2011

“He’s a little late to talk because his older sister talks for him”.

This statement has been made by many parents with more than one child. But is it really the case that second and third-born children speak later than first-borns? And if you see a difference in the language development of your later-born child, should you be worried?


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Study on More Than Words® Program Provides Encouraging Results for Parents of Toddlers with Autism

Published: Mar 23, 2011
A new study has demonstrated that toddlers with autism who play with a limited number of toys show greater improvement in their communication skills if they participated in Hanen’s More Than Words® Program than if they received other community-based treatments.
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Fact or Fiction? The Top 10 Assumptions about Early Speech and Language Development

Published: Mar 2, 2011
Do you ever wonder if boys really do talk later than girls? Or if it’s confusing to speak two languages to a child? And when grandma says using a pacifier is going to cause speech problems later, should you believe her?
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Television Watching: Practical Advice for Parents of Young Children

Published: Jan 27, 2011
TV watching is a part of our everyday lives. Since television burst onto the scene in the 1950s, we have grown to the point that 98% of households in first-world countries have at least one television. Considering the pervasiveness of TV in modern life, what does the research have to say about the impact of TV on young children's development?
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Shoot for the SSTaRS: A Strategy for Teaching Vocabulary to Promote Emergent Literacy

Published: Jan 27, 2011
"... Children with rich vocabularies have an enormous educational advantage. Many studies show that vocabulary is the best predictor of reading comprehension at the end of grades 2 and 3, and that vocabulary growth is directly linked to overall school achievement. Not all children have the same opportunities to learn new words. As a result, children’s vocabularies can differ enormously in size by the end of their preschool years. Building children’s vocabulary in early childhood settings must therefore be a priority if children are to have the foundation they need to succeed at school..."
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The Power of Using Everyday Routines to Promote Young Children's Language and Social Skills

Published: Jan 27, 2011
An enormous amount of learning can take place when children are involved in daily routines such as bathing, feeding, diaper changing and riding in a car - things that parents do with their children every day. These daily events are so important because they provide opportunities for repetitive learning in a natural, enjoyable yet structured way.
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Hanen's Four Stages of Early Communication: A Short Guide for Parents

Published: Jan 27, 2011
Learn about the four stages of children's communication - drawn from our popular It Takes Two to Talk® Guidebook!
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Educational DVDs: What Helps Babies Learn and What Doesn’t

Published: Jan 27, 2011
In recent years, products such as the Brainy Baby and Baby Einstein DVD series, as well as baby sign language products and programs have become very popular. Parents have come to expect that these “educational” products will give their child some educational advantage. But do they? Recent research has produced some surprising results about these widely-used products.
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Guidelines for Choosing a Speech-Language Pathologist

Published: Jan 27, 2011
When your child has been diagnosed with a language delay, perhaps the first question that comes to mind is, “Now what?” Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when selecting a speech-language pathologist...
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A Closer Look at Social Communication Difficulties of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published: Jan 27, 2011
As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, you want to help your child communicate and interact with others. To provide the right support, you need to understand how communication typically unfolds so you can spot the differences between typical communication development and the delayed or different communication development in your young child with ASD.
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