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Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize™: Coaching Parents of Children with Autism and Social Communication Difficulties

If your role includes supporting the communication development of young children with autism or social communication difficulties, you know that involving parents effectively is key to your success.

Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize™ is an intensive 2-day workshop designed to facilitate and enhance your efforts to involve families and to achieve the best possible outcomes for young children with social communication challenges.

The workshop provides:

  • A research-based protocol for evaluating children’s social communication and determining next steps – A comprehensive checklist helps you zero in on a child’s stage of social communication and identify what his or her next target may be.
  • A set of responsive interaction strategies drawn from Hanen’s evidence-based More Than Words® program – You’ll share these strategies with parents so they can facilitate their child’s ability to engage in extended, enjoyable interactions within everyday activities and routines.
  • A structured parent coaching framework that’s based on principles of adult learning – this consists of a clear, 4-step coaching model that considers the needs of adult learners and effectively supports parents’ application and generalization of strategies.

Workshop Highlights

  • Video examples of parents applying interaction strategies with their child at different stages of social communication
  • Video demonstrations of a clinician using the Hanen coaching model with a parent of a young child with autism
  • Ample opportunity for practice and self-reflection, as well as for planning – each time you learn a responsive interaction strategy, you’ll create a plan for how to use the coaching framework to teach that strategy to parents.
  • A set of comprehensive resources that includes everything you need to effectively integrate the Hanen approach into your everyday work.

By the end of this training, you’ll feel fully equipped to not only address the specific social communication needs of young children with autism, but also to empower parents to create the kind of interactions that lay the foundations for communication and language.


Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize is for any professional who supports young children with autism or social communication difficulties and their families. Some examples include:

  • Early intervention providers
  • Early childhood intervention providers
  • Early childhood special educators
  • Special education teachers
  • Early intervention administrators
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers/family therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Direct care staff/therapy assistants
  • Nurses/medical staff
  • Communication disorder assistants and speech-language pathology assistants

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  1. Describe the social communication development of children on the autism spectrum or with social communication disorder
  2. Determine a child’s stage of communication using the 4 “I”s Social Communication Checklist
  3. Identify appropriate social communication targets for children at each stage of social communication
  4. Describe evidence-based, responsive interaction strategies that are known to facilitate pleasurable, extended adult-child interactions
  5. Describe The Hanen Centre’s family-centered approach to early language intervention
  6. Apply the Hanen coaching framework to facilitate parents’ use of responsive interaction strategies with their child
  7. Utilize specific communication techniques that facilitate dialogue during interactions with parents

Practical materials

Your registration fee includes trusted resources that contain everything you need to share the information and strategies you learn with parents:

  • More Than Words Parent guidebook – a family-friendly, practical resource containing detailed descriptions and examples of all the strategies covered in the training.
  • More Than Words companion DVD – Used to support individual consultations or home programming, this video contains real-life examples of parents using More Than Words strategies and the effects these strategies have on their child's communication.
  • A comprehensive set of handouts – You'll use these to structure and plan your work with families.

What participants have said...

“Everything learned came together in a way that made it make sense for delivering to parents. The coaching techniques were particularly helpful, and the 2 days have made me reflect on my practice.”

“Brilliant training! Really enjoyed the 2 days. Feels like I have a wealth of new knowledge.”

“Fantastic training! I have really enjoyed the opportunity…will be really helpful when working with families.”

“Having the plans and something to refer to has given me better direction and purpose.”

“Today has given me a much different perspective of my practices at work.

Taking the 4 “I”s to Socialize™ Workshop

Visit the Workshop Schedule to find a training or register for email notification and help us plan new locations.