Autism Corner

Welcome to our Autism Corner!

Like all children, there's so much that autistic children can learn (and that we can learn from them!) when connecting and enjoying time together. On this page, you'll find lots of tips and links to articles to support back-and-forth interactions with autistic children – interactions that set the stage for:

  • Having more fun together
  • Building social communication skills
  • Understanding each other's perspectives

The Power of Parents

As a parent, you're in the best possible position to encourage your child to learn new communication skills. You know your child best and you know all about their special strengths, abilities and interests. You’re also aware of the people, places and things that make them comfortable, as well as those things to which they're most sensitive. Your child is likely most at ease – and therefore more open to communicating – around the most important people in their lives and in familiar environments.

Studies show that interacting with your child during familiar routines and activities in which you encourage and support their interests can help develop their social and communication skills.

Browse the links below for research-based articles, tips and resources to help you make the most of your child's everyday routines, strengths and interests to support communication.



Make Your Daily Routines R.O.C.K.™
Include Your Child’s Interests: Building Interaction with Children on the Autism Spectrum Paying Attention to Children's Joint Attention
Since routines usually happen in the same way every time, their predictable steps provide a great opportunity for children on the autism spectrum to learn new things. Learn a key...
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Children on the autism spectrum learn best when they are having fun interactions with the important people in their lives. So, the first step in helping your child learn to communicate...
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Joint attention is a key skill that helps children develop interaction and language skills. For autistic children, research shows that better joint attention skills early on lead to...
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More Articles...

Printable Handouts

Child-led Play Opens the Door to Communication and Interaction
Imitate to Connect! Sparking Interactions with Young Autistic Children
Communication-Building Tips
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Encouraging Joint Engagement Playing People Games Include Your Child's Interests
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Let’s Look at a Hanen Strategy: “Include Your Child’s Interests”

Imagine that your child is playing with a toy train set on their own and you want to get involved and interact with them. When you use the Include Your Child’s Interests strategy from our More Than Words® Program, you can! Including your child’s interests motivates them to interact with you, making it the perfect first step to getting an interaction going. Scroll through the step below and keep them in mind as you play:

  • Step #1

    First, observe your child closely to see exactly what they are doing.
  • Step #2

    Then, imitate what they're doing. If they are pushing a train along one part of the track, grab another train and push it along another part of the track.

    Or, you can get involved by helping them with what they are doing. For example, you can hand them new pieces they can add to the track to make it longer or more interesting.
  • Step #3

    Finally, comment on what your child is doing and point to it, making it sound exciting. If they add another car to their train, say “Wow. Now your train is so big!”

Hanen Programs for Parents of Autistic Children

Hanen program focus on parent-implemented intervention – where parents are an essential part of their child’s intervention. Offered by Hanen-certified speech-language pathologists around the world, our two autism programs are:

More Than Words®

At a More Than Words Program, parents learn how to build their child’s social communication skills during everyday routines and activities. They also learn how to understand their child better while having more fun together.
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At a TalkAbility program, parents learn how to support their child to have more extended interactions with both adults and peers. They also learn how to better understand their child’s perspective, help their child understand the perspectives of others, and support their child to find greater joy and connection in their interactions.
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Hanen Guidebooks

Hanen’s autism guidebooks are practical, easy-to-digest resources written specifically for parents of young autistic children or children who may benefit for social communication support. These guidebooks are full of practical examples and helpful checklists for supporting social communication while connecting and having fun together.

Are you a professional who works with young autistic children?

Explore the professional development opportunities below:

e-Seminar: Building Emergent Literacy in Autistic Children

Gain research-based tips for promoting the reading comprehension skills that also support social communication. Valued at 0.2 ASHA CEUs.

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Workshop: 4 “I”s to Socialize™

Designed for early interventionists who support families of young autistic children,
4 “I”s to Socialize offers a 4-step coaching model for engaging parents to build their child’s social communication skills naturally throughout the day. You’ll learn strategies from the Hanen More Than Words program, and you’ll discover how to make the most of your 1-1 sessions to help parents learn and apply the strategies effectively.

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Certification Workshop: More Than Words®

The More Than Words workshop for SLPs provides an evidence-based framework for coaching parents of young autistic children to support their child’s social communication during everyday interactions and routines. You receive a license to offer the More Than Words Program and to use More Than Words materials in your 1:1 parent coaching sessions.

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