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It’s Worth the Wait! The Power of Waiting During Interactions with Your Child

Published: Apr 29, 2024
You know that talking to your child is critical for their language development. But did you know that not talking sometimes is just as important? Learn more about the power of pausing and waiting during interactions with your child and what to look out for while you wait.

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Are Certain Toys Better Than Others for Autistic Children?

Published: Apr 22, 2024
Parents sometimes wonder what the best toys are for helping their young autistic child interact and communicate. The research might surprise you!

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Autism Month 2024

Published: Apr 16, 2024
This Autism Month, we’re raising awareness about the power of child-led play to get interactions started – and to keep them going for longer – with young autistic children. Here are two info and tip sheets you can print and share to make the most of child-led play.

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Make Print POP!

Published: Mar 20, 2024
There’s a lot children need to learn about print before they can start to read and write. Here are some tips to build this important early literacy skill during everyday activities with your child.

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Supporting the Science of Reading: Resources for Building Emergent Literacy in the Classroom

Published: Feb 27, 2024
The Science of Reading tells us that to become successful readers, children need to know two equally important skillsets. Learn more about these skills and browse our handouts, tips and articles for supporting emergent literacy in the classroom.

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Bringing Books to Life! Build Early Literacy Skills by Acting Out Stories

Published: Feb 21, 2024
Did you know that pretend play helps to build early literacy? Studies have shown that children who act out the stories they've heard remember more events from the story, learn new words, and can retell the story better.  Here are six tips for using pretend play to boost your child’s early literacy.

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Getting Hooked on Books! Choose Books that Spark Your Child’s Interest

Published: Jan 17, 2024
Sharing books is a great way to build your child’s language and early literacy skills. But what if your child doesn’t seem interested in books or doesn’t pay attention for long? If this sounds like your child, you might need to experiment with different kinds of books to see what catches your child’s interest. Here are some ideas to try!

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Holiday Handouts 2023

Published: Nov 29, 2023
Children’s best communication learning happens during enjoyable back-and-forth interactions with loved ones. Here are two tip sheets with research-based strategies to help you spark the kinds of sustained interactions that encourage communication best.
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Bring On the Books! 10 tips for Reading with Autistic Children

Published: Nov 14, 2023
Reading with your autistic child helps to build both their early literacy skills and communication skills. But did you know that the way you read with your child can make a big difference? Use these fun, simple tips to make the most of book reading to encourage your child to interact and learn. 

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Make Words Stand Out with the Four S’s!

Published: Oct 19, 2023
Helping your child learn new words doesn’t require special toys or flash cards. By using the Hanen Four S’s strategy during everyday conversations, you can build your child’s understanding of new words and pave the way for your child to use them when they’re ready.

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Just Being in the Same Classroom Is Not Enough: How to Promote Peer Interactions That Benefit Children’s Language Skills

Published: Sep 12, 2023
In order to learn from their peers, children with delayed language skills need to interact regularly with children with stronger language skills. But is this interaction happening in preschool classrooms? Find out what the research says, and what educators can do to promote the kind of peer interactions that benefit children most. 

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What Stands in the Way of Successful Peer Play?

Published: Aug 24, 2023
We asked professionals who work in early childhood settings what common challenges they face when encouraging children to interact.  Here are the top concerns they expressed, along with some thoughts from our Director of Early Childhood Education, Helen Livshits.

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Connection in the Classroom: How an Educator Transformed her Interactions to Benefit More Children

Published: Aug 22, 2023
Meet Tracy Stuchbery, an educator in Toronto, who participated in a recent Learning Language and Loving It™ Program. Find out how Tracy was able to connect with individual children in her room, and specific changes she made that improved the overall quality of her preschool setting.

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What Do Communication and Tennis Have in Common?

Published: Jul 17, 2023
The next time you have a conversation with your child, think of it like a game – of tennis! Follow these pro tips to make the game successful and fun, and to give your child lots of opportunities to build communication skills.

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How to Support Peer Interaction in Early Childhood Settings

Published: Jun 22, 2023
When 3-5 year olds engage in peer play, they practice essential skills that help prepare them for school success. But when a child is consistently left out of interactions, they miss out on these important learning opportunities. Here are some practical tips to maximize peer play opportunities for all children in your classroom, but especially for those who need the most support.

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Imitate to Connect! Sparking Interactions with Young Autistic Children

Published: Jun 15, 2023
When you have back-and-forth interactions with your child, you have many opportunities to support their social communication skills. However, you may not always be sure how to join in what your child is doing to get an interaction started. Try this fun and easy way to join in your child's play.

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The Power of Parents

Published: May 31, 2023
As a parent, you help your child learn new skills every day. Communication skills are no different! Let’s take a closer look at how you can transform the routines and activities you already do with your child into the best possible opportunities for them to learn and practise communication.

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Play Your Child’s Way!

Published: May 12, 2023
There’s no better time for your child to learn about communicating than when they’re playing. Use these tips to join in the play in the best ways to help your child learn.

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Include Your Child’s Interests: Building Interaction with Children on the Autism Spectrum

Published: Mar 31, 2023
Sometimes you may not be sure how to get an interaction started with your child, especially if they often play alone or have specific or unique interests. Here’s a Hanen strategy to help you start the kinds back-and-forth interactions that encourage social communication learning.

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Does Screen Time Affect Children’s Language Development?

Published: Mar 16, 2023
A new study shows that children’s screen time has gone up 52% since the pandemic. Many parents wonder what effect this might have on their child’s language development, and whether the child’s age or the type of programming makes a difference. Read on to find out.

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Encourage Conversations with Wordless Books!

Published: Feb 14, 2023
Have you ever read a book to your child that has no words? It might sound odd, but wordless children’s books are actually great tools to build both early language and literacy skills. Use these five tips to make the most of wordless books, and check out our book suggestions.
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Can Children on the Autism Spectrum Learn Two Languages?

Published: Jan 12, 2023
Many parents of children on the autism spectrum wonder about the best way to help their child learn two languages, and whether a second language will help or hinder their child’s development. Here’s what the latest research says.
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“Have Fun!” – An Essential Ingredient for Children’s Language Learning

Published: Nov 29, 2022
You know fun when you see it, but are you ready to coach parents to have fun with their child in parent-implemented intervention? Learn how to support parents by fostering fun interactions with their child using these 6 practical tips.
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Thinking Outside the Toy Box: Part 2

Published: Nov 23, 2022
When you encourage your child to play with a variety of things in a variety of ways, you create new experiences that give your child new opportunities to hear language and learn new things. Here are some more ideas for encouraging language and learning while having fun together!

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Thinking Outside the Toy Box: Part 1

Published: Oct 14, 2022
Parents often wonder about the best toys to help their child learn to communicate and play. Toys from the store are great, but they’re not necessary! Discover how you can use these five everyday household items to have fun with your child while building their language skills. 

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Light Up Your Child’s Brain with Books!

Published: Sep 8, 2022
As children head back to school, many parents wonder what they can do to help their child succeed in the classroom. Well, there’s one simple activity that can make a huge difference – enjoy books together! Here are some tips for reading with your child that can lay the foundation for language and literacy success.

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Take Language Learning Outside!

Published: Aug 25, 2022
There are many things to explore outdoors – and many opportunities for communication! Here are some suggestions for adding language to outdoor experiences to boost your child’s learning.

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Exploring Objects Helps Children Learn About Language

Published: Jul 19, 2022
Did you know that exploring objects early on is linked to later communication skills? You can make the most of this connection and help your child learn new words by using a few Hanen strategies while your child explores objects with their hands or their mouth.

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Laying the Foundation for First Words

Published: Jun 9, 2022

Learning to talk starts long before a child says their first words. In fact, there are many things your child needs to learn about before they’re ready to communicate with words. Here are some of the building blocks for using words, and some tips for how you can encourage them with your child.


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Children Who Lead Get the Language They Need!

Published: May 1, 2022
Welcome to our special page all about Following Your Child’s Lead – a key strategy in the Hanen early communication program, It Takes Two to Talk®. Here you’ll learn all about the importance of following your child’s lead to build their language skills, and you’ll find lots of tips and links to get you started.
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Get Face to Face to Communicate!

Published: Apr 18, 2022

Did you know that the way you position yourself when interacting with your child can make a big difference in how much they understand and communicate? Here are some tips you can use to make the most of face-to-face time with your child to help build their communication skills.


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Make Your Daily Routines R.O.C.K.™!

Published: Apr 6, 2022

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 Hanen strategy you can use during your everyday routines to build your child’s understanding and social communication skills.  


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Masking and Beyond: What We Know About Masks and Language Development and What Matters Most Even After the Masks Come Off

Published: Mar 11, 2022

What effect has masking had on children’s early language learning?  Researchers are still working to answer this question, but here’s what we know so far, and some important things to consider both during masking times and after masks are removed.


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Paying Attention to Children’s Joint Attention

Published: Feb 11, 2022

Joint attention is a key skill that helps children develop interaction and language skills. For children on the autism spectrum, research shows that better joint attention skills early on lead to better communication skills later in life. Learn more about joint attention and how you can encourage it during everyday interactions with your child.


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It Takes Two to Talk® Helps More Than Communication, New Studies Show

Published: Jan 17, 2022

Many studies have shown how It Takes Two to Talk builds children’s language skills. But did you know that the program also helps with children’s behaviour, social-emotional and social communication skills?  See what the most recent research reveals.


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Using Curiosity to Encourage Communication Skills

Published: Nov 19, 2021

Research shows that when children are curious, they not only learn more, but are more likely to remember what they learned. Here are some fun tips to encourage your child’s curiosity during everyday interactions to promote their early learning. 


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New Research Shows that More Than Words® Helps Both Parents and Children!

Published: Oct 26, 2021

There have been many studies on Hanen's More Than Words program for parents of children with autsim or social communication difficulties. Take a look at the results of the two most recent studies -- one from Malaysia and one from Turkey!


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E's and P's with Falling Leaves: Tips to Strengthen Your Child's Language and Thinking

Published: Oct 26, 2021

If your child is preschool aged (3-5), there's so much you can do during your everyday conversations to boost her language learning and to prepare her for school success. Learn how you can use the Hanen “E’s and Ps” strategy on your next outdoor walk to make your conversations more interesting and more impactful for your child.


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Using Early Childhood Classroom Activities to Build Vocabulary

Published: Sep 20, 2021

Studies show a strong connection between vocabulary development and academic success. Here are some tips to make the most of your preschool day to ensure that children have as many opportunities as possible to learn new words.


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Imitation and Communication: What’s the Connection?

Published: Jul 22, 2021

Learning to copy the actions of others is an important stepping stone on the road to communication. Learn more about the importance of imitation for children with autism, and what you can do to help your child imitate while having fun together.


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When a Child Has a Language Delay, Research Shows That Parents Can Make a Big Difference!

Published: Jun 17, 2021

Over the last decade, researchers looked at a large number of studies on parent-implemented intervention and compiled their findings. Here are the trends they found that tell us how effective this type of intervention is, and which types of children benefit.


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Parents’ Role in Language Intervention

Published: Jun 17, 2021

Are parents expected to be involved in their child’s early language intervention? What does parent involvement look like these days, and how important is it to a child’s speech and language therapy?


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Four Things You Might Not Know About Language Learning Difficulties in Childhood

Published: May 12, 2021
The more we understand about language learning difficulties, the better we can support children to get the help they need. Here are four facts you should know about early language learning challenges.

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Two Tips for Helping Children Pretend Together

Published: Mar 11, 2021

Pretend play is one of the best contexts for building communication, thinking and social skills. Whether you're a parent or an early childhood educator, here are two simple tips you can use to encourage pretend play while keeping it both fun and appropriate for the child's stage.


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How to Talk to Children Who Are Learning to Talk

Published: Feb 12, 2021
It's natural to simplify our language when speaking to children who are just learning to talk. But is it possible to simplify language too much? See what the research says about the kind of language that works best to help children learn.


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Making New Words “Stick”

Published: Jan 6, 2021
Children with language delays often need extra help to develop an understanding of a new word and to be able to use that word on their own. Here are some tips parents can use to make word learning easier for their child.


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Tips to Build Vocabulary: Repeat Words That Match Your Child’s Interests

Published: Dec 14, 2020
If your child is just starting to talk, you might be wondering how you can help him learn new words. Here are some tips for identifying the best words to help your child learn and highlighting those words most effectively.

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Three Keys to Helping Your Child Learn Language

Published: Nov 24, 2020
There are many techniques you can use to help your child learn language, but which ones are the most effective? Discover the three key things you can do during any activity with your child to give his language learning the biggest boost.

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Does Telling Children to Say Words Build Their Vocabulary?

Published: Oct 14, 2020
If you've ever tried to help your child learn a new word by telling him to say it, you're not alone! But does this tactic actually work? What does it really take to help your child understand a new word and use it on his own?

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Moving Hanen Parent Programs Online!

Published: Aug 5, 2020
With the aim of reaching as many families as possible, The Hanen Centre has come up with creative ways to use technology to help more families support their child’s communication development. In this article, we explain how this new way of providing parent-implemented intervention – known as “telepractice” – is proving to be invaluable as many in-person services are limited or prohibited due to COVID-19.
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Talking to Young Children on the Autism Spectrum Matters, Study Shows

Published: Jul 2, 2020
According to a new study, very young children on the autism spectrum who hear more words and have more back-and-forth conversations with their parents tend to have better language skills at age two. In this article, we share how you can encourage conversations.

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COVID-19: How Educators Can Build Interactions While Balancing Precautions

Published: Jun 17, 2020
Here at The Hanen Centre, we have spent a couple of decades building programs and creating books to help educators create the best possible interactions that build language, communication and literacy for all children in their classroom. With the novel coronavirus outbreak forcing society to adapt in unprecedented ways, we've been discussing how those same strategies can be adapted in the time of social distancing.
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How to Build a Strong Foundation for Your Child's Language Skills

Published: May 27, 2020

Did you know that interaction is the most important foundation for your child’s language learning? Learn how to engage your child in the kinds of back-and-forth interactions that set the stage for the best language learning.


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‘Springboards for Learning’ Early Experiences Launch Children’s Development Forward

Published: Apr 28, 2020

A new study by researchers shows that a home environment that is rich with language and learning jumpstarts children’s skills and has benefits that can be seen until at least Grade 5. In this article, we explain the results of the study and how you can help your child's learning.


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Tap into Your Child’s Natural Way of Learning Language

Published: Feb 10, 2020

By age six, the average child understands about 10,000 words! This amazing feat happens by children picking out patterns in the language they hear every day. For children with language delays, they have more difficulty picking out these patterns in language. In this article, we share some tips on how you can help your child find patterns during your everyday interactions.