Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize™: Coaching Parents of Young Autistic Children or Children Who May Benefit from Social Communication Support

If your role includes supporting the communication development of young autistic children or children who may benefit from social communication support, you know that involving parents effectively is key to success. The Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize™ workshop is designed to facilitate and enhance your efforts to involve families and make the biggest possible difference for these children.

What 4 "I"s to Socialize Offers

Based on current research and best practice, 4 "I"s to Socialize offers:

  • A research-based protocol for evaluating children’s social communication and determining next steps – A comprehensive checklist helps you zero in on a child’s stage of social communication and identify what his or her next target may be.
  • A set of responsive interaction strategies drawn from Hanen’s evidence-based More Than Words® program – You’ll share these strategies with parents so they can facilitate their child’s ability to engage in extended, enjoyable interactions within everyday activities and routines.
  • A structured one-to-one parent coaching framework that’s based on principles of adult learning – This consists of a clear, 4-step coaching model that can be used during individual consultations and therapy sessions. This framework considers the needs of adult learners and effectively supports parents’ application and generalization of strategies.

Training format

4 “I”s to Socialize is an online workshop offered in the following formats:

  • Two full days of training offered on consecutive or non-consecutive days, typically one week apart
  • A series of shorter sessions over a two-week period
Learning activities include a pre-workshop assignment, self-study components, online small group activities and live online sessions with the other participants, facilitated by the workshop instructor.


Why choose an online workshop?

“The ITSJC staff LOVED the 4 I’s training; they were so impressed with the professionalism, information, engaging format, and overall experience with Hanen! The staff have participated in other virtual trainings since the public health outbreak began in March and Hanen by far exceeds everyone’s expectations and really has set the bar for other organizations to model after. Kudos!!”

Monica L. Ross
M.S. Educational Leadership, M.S. CCC-SLP, ESDM Certified
Program Director
Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County

Workshop Highlights

  • Video examples of parents applying interaction strategies with their child at different stages of social communication
  • Video demonstrations of a clinician using the Hanen coaching model with a parent of a young autistic child
  • Ample opportunity for practice and self-reflection on the interaction strategies, as well as creating a plan for how to use the coaching framework to teach the strategies to parents.
  • A set of comprehensive resources that includes everything you need to effectively integrate the Hanen approach into your everyday work. Several handouts and videos will be downloadable online, while guidebooks can be purchased prior to the workshop.

By the end of this training, you’ll feel fully equipped to not only address the specific social communication needs of young autistic children, but also to empower parents to support their child's communication throughout the day while connecting and having fun together.


Hanen 4 “I”s to Socialize is for any professional who supports young autistic children and their families. Some examples include:

  • Early intervention providers
  • Early childhood intervention providers
  • Early childhood special educators
  • Special education teachers
  • Early intervention administrators
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers/family therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Direct care staff/therapy assistants
  • Nurses/medical staff
  • Communication disorder assistants and speech-language pathology assistants

Learning objectives

By the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  1. Describe the social communication development of autistic children or children who may benefit from social communication support
  2. Determine a child’s stage of communication using the 4 “I”s Social Communication Checklist
  3. Identify appropriate social communication targets for children at each stage of social communication
  4. Describe evidence-based, responsive interaction strategies that are known to facilitate pleasurable, extended adult-child interactions
  5. Describe The Hanen Centre’s family-centered approach to early language intervention
  6. Apply the Hanen coaching framework to facilitate parents’ use of responsive interaction strategies with their child
  7. Utilize specific communication techniques that facilitate dialogue during interactions with parents

What participants have said...

“Everything learned came together in a way that made it make sense for delivering to parents. The coaching techniques were particularly helpful, and the have made me reflect on my practice.”

“Brilliant training! Feels like I have a wealth of new knowledge.”

“Fantastic training! I have really enjoyed the opportunity…will be really helpful when working with families.”

“Having the plans and something to refer to has given me better direction and purpose.”

“Today has given me a much different perspective of my practices at work.

Taking the 4 “I”s to Socialize™ Workshop

Visit the schedule pages below to find a training or register for email notification and help us plan.