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What Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk® Program is Really All About

By D, a mother in Australia

A few months ago, I was invited to an information session about The Hanen Centre’s It Takes Two to Talk® Program. Being a mum to a beautiful three and a half year old girl with Global Developmental Delay, I was definitely interested as my daughter spoke only a few, unclear words.

Like many of the parents at this information session, a look of despair came over my face when I learnt of the commitment needed to undertake this program. In my head I was saying, “This goes on for how many weeks?” Little did I know what was really in store.

Before I started this program, my daughter was attending a number of different appointments, including additional private speech therapy, which was costing us a significant amount of money. I decided to put this private speech therapy on hold while taking part in the It Takes Two to Talk Program.

Hanen has taught me and my daughter things that 12 months of private speech therapy never did, nor would have taught us - things like the stage of development my child is at, her communication style, how we as parents can become better and more interesting people to communicate with, and how to create opportunities to successfully communicate with our children. These are just a few of the things we have learnt. I could go on about the incredible progress that I, and others, have seen in my daughter’s communication, but there is another extraordinary element of this fantastic program, and that is the people who are part of it.

It is obvious that the speech therapists who run Hanen Programs at the Disability Services Commission (DSC) in Western Australia have a true commitment to helping every family and meeting their individual needs. They go beyond being speech therapists, and have become mentors for each and every one of us.

Nine other people have made It Takes Two to Talk the most important and enjoyable program I have attended since having my little girl. They are the other parents who turn up every week, open up their hearts and share their stories and experiences. I have come to realise just how important these people have been to talk to, learn from and, at times, to lean on. I wish to thank each and every one of them for their support.

We may all have children with special needs, but it takes a special parent to care for these needs. To these special parents and their wonderful children: thank you, I hope we can all stay in touch well after the program.

It Takes Two to Talk is a credit to the Disability Services Commission in Western Australia, and to its commitment to helping our children. Thank you to all who have been involved, especially my beautiful little girl. I look forward to her one day truly understanding what it means when I say, “I love you” - something I know Hanen will help us achieve.

For more information about the It Takes Two to Talk Program and how it may help you, click here.