About Hanen

Founded more than 45 years ago, The Hanen Centre is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization with a global reach.

Our mission is to enable parents and professionals to transform their daily interactions with young children to build the best possible lifelong social, language and literacy skills. This includes children with or at risk of language delays and those on the autism spectrum.

We fulfill our mission by:

  • creating programs in which groups of parents and other caregivers learn how to promote children's language and literacy development during everyday activities
  • training speech-language pathologists/therapists to lead Hanen Programs and to use the Hanen approach in their day-to-day work with families and educators
  • developing outstanding, user-friendly materials for parents and professionals that break down the latest research into practical, usable strategies
  • participating in leading-edge research in our field to ensure that our programs are evidence-based

The Hanen Approach

The Hanen approach has led the way in changing early language intervention by putting parents first in order to help children best.

Many years ago, early language intervention involved speech-language pathologists "treating" a child in a therapy room with little or no parent involvement. In the early 1970's, research began to reveal that the involvement of parents in their child's early intervention was critical and that the earlier parents were involved, the better the outcome for the child. Research also showed that children learned best in their natural environments, where they were motivated to communicate with the important people in their lives. This required a significant change to the way speech therapy was offered to young children.

So, in 1975, Ayala Hanen Manolson, a speech-language pathologist in Montreal, Canada, developed an innovative program for groups of parents whose children had significant language delays. This program did something novel: instead of giving the children speech therapy once a week, Ms Manolson gathered their parents in a group for a series of sessions and taught them how they could assume a primary role in helping their children develop improved communication skills.

The success of this program, which eventually became It Takes Two To Talk® - The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Language Delays, led to the establishment of The Hanen Centre and paved the way for the development of five other Hanen Programs®; four for parents and three for early childhood educators. To learn more about these programs, click on the following link:

In support of each program, Hanen has developed many helpful resources, including guidebooks and DVDs, for both parents and professionals. Hanen resources break down the most current research in early childhood language development, and transform it into practical, easy-to-use strategies. Click on the link below to learn more about these resources:

To share the Hanen approach with speech-language pathologists/therapists worldwide, The Hanen Centre developed in-person training workshops which were offered in many countries around the world. Hanen has since converted its in-person workshops to online trainings in order to maximize accessibility and help professionals reach as many families as possible.  Click the link below for detailed information about our workshops: