It Takes Two to Talk® Resources

In order for parents to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence required to become their child’s primary language facilitator, we need to support and inform them in ways that are practical, accessible, and relevant to them. 

An important part of supporting parents is helping them understand and apply what it is they’re learning. The Hanen Centre offers effective, parent-friendly tools that can be shared with parents to reinforce what they’re learning in your therapy sessions and to continue the learning process at home.

It Takes Two to Talk® Guidebook and Companion DVD

The fifth edition of the It Takes Two to Talk parent guidebook (available in print and digital formats), and the companion DVD, were specifically created for parents of children with language delays. These resources are an invaluable part of a speech-language pathologist’s early language intervention services because they:

  • Are practical and user-friendly
  • Reflect current research and best practice
  • Supplement and reinforce the interaction and language strategies you are teaching parents
  • Provide a step-by-step guide for parents to refer to between your therapy sessions
  • Enable parents to apply the strategies they have learned to a variety of everyday routines and activities with their child.

It Takes Two to Talk resources provide parents with the practical knowledge and tools they need to:

  • Recognize their child’s stage and style of communication so they’ll know which steps to take next
  • Identify what motivates their child to interact with them so they’ll know how to get conversations started
  • Adjust everyday routines to help their child take turns and keep interactions going
  • Follow their child’s lead to build his confidence and encourage him to communicate
  • Add language to interactions with their child to help him understand the world around him
  • Tweak the way they play and read books with their child to help him learn language
  • Change the way they speak to their child so he’ll understand and learn new words

It Takes Two to Talk strategies are explained in simple language that parents will understand. The Companion DVD supports the guidebook by offering dozens of real-life video examples of the strategies in action, giving parents a clear idea of what to do and how to do it. Once parents identify their child’s stage of communication development, they can zero in on the recommended strategies for their own child.

Here’s an example of a simple, yet powerful strategy that parents will learn from It Takes Two to Talk resources:

“OWL to Let Your Child Lead”


Current research shows that children learn language best when they are allowed to lead a conversation and communicate about what interests them. When parents apply the OWL strategy, they can get ‘in-tune’ with their child’s interests and communication, and then follow the child's lead. The longer children stay in these responsive interactions with their parents, the more practice, feedback and language they will learn, all of which builds their communication skills.

Parents can use the OWL strategy during any activity with their child to encourage him to start conversations about things that interest him.

All of the strategies outlined in the It Takes Two to Talk resources are taken from It Takes Two to Talk® - The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Language Delays. This evidence-based program has been proven in clinical practice to have positive effects on the communication development of young children. Click on the link below for a detailed research summary describing the evidence in support of the It Takes Two to Talk Program and its strategies:

Why Use It Takes Two to Talk® resources in your clinical practice?

Speech-language pathologists who have integrated It Takes Two to Talk resources into their clinical practice have found it a very useful tool for involving parents in their children’s intervention process.

Here are some of the ways these resources may be used: 

►It Takes Two to Talk® can give parents a head start while their child is waiting for services

If a child is on a waiting list for speech therapy services, It Takes Two to Talk resources are a great way to empower their parents to take action and begin the intervention process. Parents can get started by using the resources to learn more about their child’s communication skills by getting ‘in tune’ with how and why their child communicates. Then they can begin to implement some simple child-centred strategies to facilitate more responsive interactions with their child. By the time they see you, they will already have started to help their child. 

►It Takes Two to Talk® resources can supplement your therapy sessions and aid in home programming

For families who have already begun therapy, It Takes Two to Talk resources can be an effective supplement for home programming, as well as for your therapy sessions.  

If you are providing home programming for parents, you may recommend appropriate strategies from the guidebook or lend them the book to read up on their child’s stage and style of communication. In therapy sessions, when parents have difficulty understanding a concept or how a strategy is applied, you can help them by showing a short video clip from the It Takes Two to Talk companion DVD, or flipping to a relevant page in the parent guidebook. The guidebook explains concepts and strategies using simple language and illustrated examples, while the DVD demonstrates the strategies in action.

►It Takes Two to Talk® promotes active learning for parents

The It Takes Two to Talk guidebook and DVD are companion resources that work together to actively engage parents as adult learners.  

Studies have shown that adults learn best when they are exposed to numerous examples and relevant demonstrations and when they are able to practice what they’ve learned. 

In an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, each chapter of the It Takes Two to Talk guidebook outlines a strategy and encourages parents to use the strategies by offering guidance and helpful examples. Each chapter of the guidebook corresponds to a section of the companion DVD in which parents can watch real-life examples of other parents implementing the strategies with their children. This makes it easy for parents to figure out whether they are using the strategy appropriately.  

The It Takes Two to Talk guidebook and DVD offer a comprehensive learning experience for parents that increases the likelihood that they will practice and retain the strategies and information they have learned.

►It Takes Two to Talk® targets the specific needs of individual children

It Takes Two to Talk resources take the guesswork out of identifying which strategies are appropriate for specific children. Once you know a child’s stage of communication, It Takes Two to Talk resources make it easy to pick the corresponding strategies that should be used with a child at that stage. For example, if you are working with a child who is at the Combiner stage of communication (i.e. just starting to put together two-word combinations) you may want to have the parent read the section in the parent guidebook on ‘adding language’ by expanding on what their child has said and then show them the corresponding video clip of this strategy from the companion DVD.

Using It Takes Two to Talk® resources in your clinical practice

The case study below provides an example of how a professional may use the It Takes Two to Talk guidebook and DVD in their clinical practice. Click on the excerpts from the resources to see for yourself!

Sarah is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in early intervention.  Her caseload is made up primarily of young children with language delays. She is waiting for an It Takes Two to Talk workshop training to come to her community, but in the meantime she has found the It Takes Two to Talk parent guidebook and companion DVD very helpful in her therapy sessions. Here’s how she used the It Takes Two to Talk resources during her initial communication assessment with Joshua, a two and a half-year old boy referred to her by his concerned parents, Stacey and Matthew.

At the initial assessment, Joshua’s parents reported that they were concerned that Joshua was not yet using words. They felt that he was not really communicating much at all. After completing her initial assessment, Sarah discussed her findings with Stacey and Matthew. To involve them in the assessment process and increase their awareness of Joshua’s communication, she opened the It Takes Two to Talk parent guidebook to pages 6 and 7 (click here to see these pages) and used this information to explain that while Joshua was not yet using words to communicate, he was in fact sending many specific messages by looking at his conversation partners, making gestures, pointing and beginning to make sounds. Stacey and Matthew learned that Joshua was at the Communicator stage of language development. To help them really “see” the hallmarks of this stage, Sarah popped the It Takes Two to Talk companion DVD into her laptop and showed Stacey and Matthew another child at the Communicator stage. Click on the link below to view this clip from the DVD: 

Sarah also had them fill out the ‘My Child's Stage of Communication’ checklist on pages 11-13 in the parent guidebook, where goals are divided into interaction goals, which come first, followed by expressive communication goals. This not only helped them get more ‘in tune’ with Joshua’s communication skills, but also gave them an idea of what to expect next from Joshua. This became very helpful for Sarah when she was discussing possible communication goals for Joshua as part of his upcoming block of language intervention.

What Professionals Say About It Takes Two to Talk®

“The Hanen Centre has, once again, done a terrific job of making the information in this newest edition of It Takes Two to Talk accessible to families and professionals, who can rely on the fact that the intervention strategies are based on years of research that support their usefulness in promoting improved communication skills in children with language delays.”
— Cynthia Cress, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Associate Professor of Communication Disorders
University of Nebraska-Lincoln


It Takes Two to Talk® Parent Workbook − Member Only Resource

Available to SLPs with It Takes Two to Talk certification, this parent workbook is specifically designed for use in one-to-one, parent-focused sessions. Checklists, observation guides and home plans make it easy for SLPs to involve parents in the goal-setting process and help them better understand their child’s communication. With guidance and coaching from the SLP, each family uses a workbook to create an individualized intervention guide for their child, identifying the strategies they need to apply in order to facilitate their child’s achievement of communication goals.

Learn more about the  It Takes Two to Talk Parent Workbook


Parent Guidebook
Companion DVD
Buy the Combo Pack and Save $20
  • 171 pages
  • 9 chapters
  • Fully illustrated in colour
  • Packed with practical, research-based strategies using everyday activities
  • Easy-to-use charts and checklists
  • Sample songs and nursery rhymes that foster communication
  • Soft cover
  • Available in English, French and Spanish
  • 5 hour running time
  • Easy to navigate
  • Each section corresponds to a chapter of the guidebook
  • Packed with real-life video examples of the strategies in action 
  • Available in PAL and NTSC
  • Full digitized Kindle-compatible
  • 171 pages, soft cover
  • 9 chapters (see right column for contents)
  • Hundreds of colour illustrations
  • Packed with practical, research-based strategies using everyday activities
  • Easy-to-use charts and checklists
  • When used together, the It Takes Two to Talk guidebook and companion DVD offer a comprehensive, step-by-step learning experience.
  • After reading about a strategy in the guidebook, verify how to do things right by watching the corresponding section of the DVD to view real-life videos of the strategies in action.