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More Than Words® — The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

As a parent, you know how challenging it can be for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder to interact meaningfully with others and connect with the world around him.

The More Than Words Program was designed specifically for parents of children ages 5 and under on the autism spectrum. Addressing the unique needs of these children, the program provides parents with the tools, strategies and support they need to help their children reach their full communication potential.

More Than Words does this by empowering you to help your child reach the following three goals:

  1. Improved social skills
  2. The ability to engage in back-and-forth interactions
  3. Improved understanding of language

Here are some of the valuable things you’ll learn when you attend the More Than Words Program:

  • How your child learns best and what motivates him to communicate
  • Why your child behaves in certain ways, and what you can do to either increase or reduce those behaviours
  • How to use your knowledge about your child to set realistic goals
  • How to make interactions with your child last longer and be more meaningful
  • Tips for using pictures and print to help your child’s understanding
  • Tips on how to talk so that your child understands you
  • Strategies for developing your child’s play skills
  • Ways to help your child make friends


Program Components

The More Than Words parent program includes:

  • 8 training sessions in small, personalized groups
  • A Hanen Certified speech-language pathologist leading the program
  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist
  • Three individual visits for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist in which you are videotaped while practicing with your child. Then you and your speech-language pathologist watch the videotaped interaction to “see” what’s helping and what you can modify to help even more


Program Resources

During the More Than Words Program, you’ll use the guidebook More Than Words: A Parent’s Guide to Building Interaction and Language Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Difficulties. This guidebook covers all of the strategies from the More Than Words Program and offers dozens of examples for how you can use these strategies during everyday routines and activities with your child. Even after completing the program, you can keep coming back to this guidebook to remind yourself of what you have learned and to get new ideas and support as your child progresses and new goals are set.

If you are waiting to attend a More Than Words program, you may want to purchase the guidebook in advance to give your learning a head start and to gain some practical strategies that you can start using with your child right away.

Learn more about the More Than Words guidebook.


Benefits of Taking the More Than Words® Program

Practical strategies you can use in everyday situations

The More Than Words Program focuses on your natural, day-to-day life with your child. You’ll discover how to take everyday activities like meal time, story time and bath time and use them to help your child improve his communication and social skills. And you’ll have fun together while you’re doing it!

The More Than Words approach is easy to understand and easy to put into practice. With every strategy you learn, you’ll be given ample opportunity to practice and discuss it so that you won’t forget it.

Here’s an example of a strategy you’ll learn in the program:

“R.O.C.K.™ in your Routine”
R.O.C.K. 
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!

The R.O.C.K. strategy can be used during any activity you do with your child to foster longer, more meaningful interactions and improved social skills.


An evidence-based and reputable program that’s worth your time

Like all of Hanen's programs, More Than Words was developed by expert speech-language pathologists and is grounded in extensive research. The program itself is delivered by Hanen Certified Speech-language pathologists who have completed specialized training from The Hanen Centre.

More Than Words requires a significant time commitment from parents in order to ensure the best possible learning experience. Once you’ve completed the program, however, the strategies you’ve learned will become such a natural part of the way you interact with your child that you won’t even notice you’re using them. The commitment you put in now will pay off during every interaction you have with your child.

For a detailed research summary and empirical evidence, click on the link below:

Guidebook and DVD

The chance to connect with other parents

One of the greatest benefits of the More Than Words Program is the opportunity it provides to connect with other parents. When you feel like no one understands what you’re going through, you can often feel isolated and alone in your struggle. At the More Than Words Program, you’ll meet other parents in the same situations. You will have opportunities to share experiences with other parents, gain insight from their experiences, and make new friends who really understand what you’re feeling.


What parents say about the More Than Words Program...

“My son has made incredible strides due to your program. He has surprised a lot of people. What I really love about the program is that we are taught to work with our children. After all, an SLP may see them once a week, but we are with them around the clock, so if we can help with their speech it is actually a more beneficial situation for the children. Your course is invaluable and a must-do for parents, relatives and friends. I am forever grateful”
– Debra, mother of 4-year-old Anthony


Finding a More Than Words® Program

More Than Words Programs are offered by Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologists all around the world. To find a program in your area, you can use this website to search for a Hanen Certified SLP or search for a Hanen Program.

Find a Hanen SLP

Find a Hanen Program