Though Hanen workshops and personal travel had taken me far and wide, one place I had yet to visit was Korea. Was I in for a treat and many surprises as I facilitated two It Takes Two To Talk® certification workshops in Seoul, in early September.
After a very long day of travel, including flight delays, once in Seoul, I got into a taxi and within a few minutes was asked by the driver, “How old are you?” Somewhat taken aback by a question that would rarely be asked of anyone over 40 in North America, I learned from workshop participants the next day that this is a typical way of starting a conversation in Korea.
Korea is an incredibly beautiful country with a very rich history and wonderful, friendly people. It is a technology leader, with Samsung, LG and car manufacturers Kia and Hyundai. On every corner there is another new, modern building and just about every other store is a coffee shop. Koreans love their coffee, drink it black and it was impossible for me to find decaf. Workshop participants were so excited to offer me an afternoon snack of coffee poured over ice cream. It gave me a wonderful boost to finish the afternoons.
I took advantage of many of the sights, sounds, and smells of Seoul, and had the opportunity to spend five exciting days touring the country. My husband joined me and we experienced spectacular scenery, stood at the top of the ski jump to be used for the 2018 winter Olympics and tasted a vast variety of foods we have never eaten, including kimchee (a pickled, spicy cabbage dish). When pictures are taken, instead of saying “cheese”, Koreans say “kimchee”.
The effort expended by the workshop participants to experience all aspects of the workshop, and to do so in English - their second language - left me in awe of such an enthusiastic and intelligent group of speech-language pathologists. When necessary, participants who had greater ease with English were more than willing to be interpreters. We learned and laughed together. They participated fully in all aspects of the workshop, including a role play portion which involved dividing into pairs and having one partner play the parent while the other partner (playing the SLP) provided feedback on the parent's interaction with her child.
Throughout the workshops, participants eagerly discussed how this model of early language intervention through parent training could fit into their current service delivery for preschool children with language delays and disorders. Sun, the host of the first workshop, having received her speech-language pathologys training in the U.S., was very familiar with Hanen programs. As a faculty member at Ewha Women’s University (the University boasts a student population of 30,000 women) Sun has been educating her students about programs offered through The Hanen Centre, and was herself an active participant in the workshop.
Participants were also keen to learn about the other Hanen programs, and are anticipating the possibility of bringing other Hanen certification workshops to Korea.
The second workshop was concluded with the popping of corks of nonalcoholic champagne and cake (I have never experienced this before) for all to celebrate their successful completion of the workshop.
September 18, 2014
I Know What You’re Thinking
An interview with TalkAbility™ Program Leader Tamara Stein on understanding Theory of Mind
With the launch of Hanen’s new e-Seminar, Teaching Tuning In: Practical Strategies to Promote Theory of Mind for Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum, we decided to interview TalkAbility™ Program Leader Tamara Stein to get her view on the importance of theory of mind.
Hanen Happenings (HH): The Teaching Tuning In e-Seminar is based on content from the TalkAbility Program, which you recently started offering to parents of verbal children with autism. How do you usually explain the very abstract and complicated concept of Theory of Mind in a way that’s easy to understand?
Tamara Stein (TS): Well, Theory of Mind is all about our ability to understand what’s going on in other people’s heads. None of us are mind readers (ok, maybe there is such a thing as telepathy but so far I have yet to met anyone with that gift!), but whenever we interact with another person we’re doing some detective work − we take tone of voice, body language, expression and other cues into account in order to accurately interpret the other person’s message. This ability to “tune in” is what helps us understand someone’s thoughts, beliefs and wants without them stating them directly.
We’re also tuning in to our conversational partners when we provide them with background information so that they can better understand what we’re talking about.
HH: So Theory of Mind is the ability to “fill in the blanks,” so to speak?
TS: Exactly. Many people are always reading between the lines without even taking notice. Not that the average person doesn’t experience a communication hiccup here or there. Think of the last time you missed a joke, or misinterpreted someone else’s comment, or rambled on about something you found interesting when your audience lost interest – those are fairly universal experiences.
HH: People who are diagnosed with ASD may experience this more often, though?
TS: Many people diagnosed with ASD have difficulty picking up on non verbal cues, and can often take verbal statements literally as opposed to figuratively. For example, I told one child in my program, “you’re a lucky duck”, and he responded with a confused look and said, “I’m not a duck”. They will also have difficulty reading non verbal cues, and they don’t realize that their communication partners don’t know what they know – which can lead to them forgetting to include context which makes it really tough for listeners to follow their stories.
HH: So what approaches do you take when working with children diagnosed with ASD to help them better “tune in” to those around them?
TS: I work on “tuning in” in the context of TalkAbility: The Hanen Program® for Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum. Through that program I teach parents various strategies to use with their children during everyday situations. Children learn how to have better conversations by having conversations. And who better to practice with than their parents? One strategy we talk about in the program is using “tuning-in” vocabulary. I’ll ask parents to use statements like “I’m thinking that…”, “I’m wondering why…”, or “I’m trying to understand…” so that they model their own thinking processes for their children.
HH: Do you get a good response from parents around these techniques?
TS: The parents who I’ve worked with in Talkability are thrilled by the kinds of conversations they can now have with their children, or that they see their children having with their peers. I’ve had parents say to me “I’m finally able to talk to him about his day at school”, and I had one parent tell me that, towards the end of the program, her child was asked on his first official play date! By increasing children’s ability to tune in, we’re helping them to connect with their families and their peers – it’s a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Tamara Stein works at The Hanen Centre® as a Clinical Program Assistant and offers Hanen Programs to parents and educators. She also provides trainings to educators in the city of Toronto, and is an instructor for a number of Hanen e-Seminars.
August 29, 2014
It Takes Two to Talk Hits Munich
Hanen Instructor Abi Bearn falls in love with the Bavarian capital
Rosi Meyer-Endres, lovely host and speech therapist was thrilled to finally see Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk™ certification workshop come to Munich. We spent a great four days with therapists from across Germany exploring how to use the It Takes Two to Talk program with families in Germany.
During the course, we often smiled as we discussed the children and their families, finding that there were many similarities between services in the United Kingdom and Germany. We also shared a common desire to increase the effectiveness of therapy by empowering parents and caregivers to deliver targeted language therapy with their child throughout the day.
Here is a picture of one of the world’s most famous Beer Halls – many are in traditional dress with live music and huge beer glasses.
In the evenings, I had the pleasure of exploring Munich with some excellent tour guides - Rosi, Nadine, Kathrin, Gudren, Sally and Christina. Munich is a vibrant city, the capital of Bavaria; it is a friendly and clean city with lots going on. It is a city you fall in love with.
Seeing the development of the It Takes Two to Talk Program in Germany is very exciting! The Hanen Centre is providing support and guidance and, in partnership with the therapists, they are working together to see this comes to fruition.
August 1, 2014
World Cup, Old Friends & The Rhineland
Janice Greenberg, Learning Language and Loving It Program Director, muses about her eventful Frankfurt experience...
I just got back from a fantastic trip to Frankfurt, Germany, where I had the pleasure of facilitating a Learning Language and Loving It Workshop to a very passionate and keen group of German early childhood education consultants and SLPs.
It was truly exciting to see such interest and enthusiasm from the Frankfurters (yes, this is really what you call people from Frankfurt!) in the Learning Language and Loving It philosophy and strategies. Germany has been attracting larger numbers of immigrants over the last few years and as a result, is being increasingly challenged by how to best meet the needs of young children for whom German is not the first language. Delivery of the Learning Language and Loving It Program in early years settings is being viewed as an effective way of enriching the language learning environment for the youngest members of their society.
July 21, 2014
Hanen’s European Adventures
Veteran Hanen Instructor Toby Stephan just wrapped up a pair of It Takes Two To Talk workshops in Barcelona and Madrid!
July 2, 2014
Presentation in Frankfurt
Learning Language and Loving It™ Program Director, Janice Greenberg, presents to early childhood professionals in Frankfurt, Germany on June 30th.
Presentation: Hanen Program − Involving Early Childhood Educators in Language Development
June 6, 2014
We're gearing up for the NAEYC PDI Convention this Sunday−Wednesday!
If you'll be there, drop by our booth (#204) to check out Hanen's newest resources, get 25% off all guidebooks, DVDs and posters, enter our draw for 10 great prizes, and chat with Janice Greenberg, Learning Language and Loving It™ and ABC and Beyond™ Program Director.
May 28, 2014
Review on Hanen's I'm Ready! guidebook
A pediatric SLP has just reviewed Hanen's new guidebook, I'm Ready! How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success. Read the review here and enter for your chance to win a free copy!
May 14, 2014
Success with It Takes Two to Talk®
A family shares the inspiring success story of their son, Elijah, after attending the It Takes Two to Talk Program.
April 30, 2014
We’ll be at the New Jersey Speech-Language Hearing Association conference from May 1-2. If you’ll be there, don’t miss our presentation!
Presentation title: Helping Parents Use Routines to Foster Children’s Social-Conversational Skills
Presenter: Cindy Conklin, Hanen It Takes Two to Talk® Program Director
Date: Thursday, May 1, 1:00-3:00PM
April 21, 2014
Presenting at the NYSHLA
Toby Stephan, Hanen US Representative and Instructor, will be presenting this Friday, April 25, at the NYSHLA conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. Toby’s presentation Getting Parents Involved in Language Intervention: Collaborative Goal Planning will take place from 10:00AM-12:00PM.
March 31, 2014
Investigators at the University of Toronto studied the impact of Hanen’s ABC and Beyond™ Program on educators’ use of conversational strategies during shared book reading with small groups of preschoolers. They found that educators in the ABC and Beyond Program used a greater number of open questions, responsive statements and variety of words compared with the control group. The educators and children in the experimental group also had longer book-related conversations than the control group.
Read more about these findings in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy:
Trelani, F., Girolametto, L., Weitzman, E. & Greenberg, J. (2014). Enhancing preschool educators’ ability to facilitate conversations during shared book reading. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 14(1), 105–140.
March 27, 2014
We’re at the CSHA conference in San Francisco from March 26-28th!
If you'll be there, visit us at booth #410!
March 4, 2014
March university presentations
US representative Toby Stephan will be offering the following presentations to students this month:
- March 4, 2014: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
- March 5, 2014: North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC
- March 14, 2014:University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL
- March 31, 2014: Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Moorhead, MN
Learn more about Hanen university presentations.
January 27, 2014
Happy Family Literacy Day!
A shout-out to all the schools, organizations, and families that are celebrating by making literacy a fun focus of today’s activities!
Stay tuned for a new Hanen resource for parents on building early literacy – I’m Ready!™ How to Prepare Your Child for Reading Success. Coming out soon, this practical guidebook shows parents fun and simple ways to build the critical early literacy skills that prepare their child for success in school.
January 7, 2014
Sydney hosts Australia’s first Hanen training for Early Interventionists
Hanen’s new training for early interventionists, Building Children’s Communication by Building Caregiver Responsiveness, makes its Australian debut in Sydney, NSW on January 20-21. This intensive training shows providers how they can effectively coach parents to use responsive interaction strategies to build their child’s communication in the context of everyday activities and routines.
Read more about our existing U.S. trainings for early interventionists.
November 14, 2013
Presenting at the ASHA Convention
Janice Greenberg, Hanen's Director of Early Childhood Services, presents today: Seeing is Believing: Using Video-Coaching to Enhance Preschool Educators’ Facilitation of Emergent Literacy
November 8, 2013
Getting ready for ASHA
It’s that time of year again! We’re gearing up for the 2013 ASHA Convention in Chicago on November 14th-16th.
Visit our ASHA page to find out who’s going to be there and what we’ll be up to, and remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for frequent updates!
We hope to see you at the convention!
October 22, 2013
US representative Toby Stephan will be offering the following presentations to students this month:
- October 29th: University of Maine, Orono, ME
- October 30th: Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
- October 30th: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
- October 31st: Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
Learn more about Hanen university presentations.
October 8, 2013
New Hanen Workshop Structure for SLPs
We’re excited to announce that we’ve restructured our professional trainings to better meet the needs of SLPs who work with families of children on the autism spectrum. SLPs with no previous Hanen training can now go directly into Hanen’s autism training stream by attending the 3-day More Than Words® Certification Workshop.
Attended by over 4000 SLPs to date, More Than Words offers a world-renowned approach to effectively engaging and involving families of children with autism in their child’s intervention.
September 13, 2013
Back to School!
It’s a busy September for our US Representative Toby Stephan. These are just a few of the universities he’s visiting this month to offer Hanen Presentations to students:
- September 12: Longwood University, Farmville, VA
- September 13: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
- September 23: Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
- September 25: Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
- September 26: Ball State University, Muncie, IN
- September 30: Kean University, Union, NJ
- September 30: Lehman College of CUNY, Bronx, NY
August 19, 2013
An article by Elaine Weitzman, Executive Director at The Hanen Centre, has just been published in the July ASHA Special Interest Group 1 issue, Perspectives on Language Learning and Education.
The article, titled, “More Than Words—The Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Teaching Model for Parent-implemented Language Intervention” discusses how the More Than Words® Program fulfills the key criteria (including how to teach and coach adults effectively) for successfully involving parents in their child’s early language intervention.
Weitzman, E. (2013) More Than Words—The Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Teaching Model for Parent-implemented Language Intervention. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 20, 86-95.
Read more about the More Than Words Program and what parents say about it here.
August 13, 2013
Hanen Member Interest Group in Melbourne
Hanen members meet up in Melbourne with Australasian representative Cindy Smith to discus current issues and share their stories. Come join us if you’re close by!
When: Thursday Aug. 15 2013, 3 - 5 p.m.
Where: The Board Room, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Melbourne, 550 Swanston St, Carlton 3053.
August 1, 2013
More Hanen e-Seminars now available on Demand!
We’ve just made most of our online training series available On Demand, so you can watch them at a time and a pace that works for you. Gain unlimited 30-day access to a variety of great topics and earn professional development hours from the comfort of your home or office!
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