More Than Words® — The Hanen Program® for Parents of Autistic Children or Children Who May Benefit from Social Communication Support

If you have a young autistic child or you are worried about your child's social communication, you may be wondering what you can do to make communication easier for them. You may want to help them connect more easily with others, make friends and experience less frustration. 

As a parent, there's so much you can do to help your child during the everyday routines and interactions you already have together. At a More Than Words program, you learn specific, research-based strategies to support your child's social communication and play skills, while also connecting and having more fun together. 

What You'll Learn

Here are some of the valuable things you’ll learn when you attend the More Than Words Program:

  • What motivates your child to communicate
  • How to use your knowledge about your child to set appropriate and realistic goals
  • How to make interactions with your child last longer
  • Tips for using pictures and print to help your child’s understanding
  • Strategies for how to talk so that your child understands you
  • Strategies for developing your child’s play skills
  • Ways to help your child make friends
All of the strategies in the More Than Words program are drawn from research and have been shown to improve the social communication skills of young autistic children. Read more about the research on More Than Words here

Program Components

The More Than Words parent program may be offered in person or by telepractice. The program includes:

  • 8 training sessions in small, personalized groups
  • A Hanen Certified speech-language pathologist leading the program and guiding you every step of the way
  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist
  • Three individual visits for you and your child with your speech-language pathologist in which you are videorecorded while practicing with your child. Then you and your speech-language pathologist watch the video interaction to “see” what’s helping and what you can modify to help even more

Program Resources

During the program, you’ll use the More Than Words guidebook. This guidebook covers all of the strategies from the More Than Words Program and offers dozens of examples for how you can use these strategies during everyday routines and activities with your child. Even after completing the program, you can keep coming back to this guidebook to remind yourself of what you have learned and to get new ideas and support as your child progresses and new goals are set.

If you are waiting to attend a More Than Words program, you may want to purchase the guidebook in advance to give your learning a head start and to gain some practical strategies that you can start using with your child right away.

Learn more about the More Than Words guidebook.

Benefits of Taking the More Than Words® Program

Practical strategies you can use in everyday situations

The More Than Words Program focuses on your natural, day-to-day life with your child. You’ll discover how to take everyday activities like meal time, story time and bath time and use them to help your child improve their communication and social skills. And you’ll have fun together while you’re doing it!

The More Than Words approach is easy to understand and easy to put into practice. With every strategy you learn, you’ll be given ample opportunity to practice and discuss it so that you won’t forget it.

Here’s an example of a strategy you’ll learn in the program:

“R.O.C.K.™ in your Routine”
Repeat what you say and do
Offer opportunities for your child to take a turn
Cue your child to take his turn; and
Keep it fun! Keep it going!

The R.O.C.K. strategy can be used during any activity you do with your child to foster longer, more meaningful interactions and improved social skills.

An evidence-based and reputable program

Like all of Hanen's programs, More Than Words was developed by expert speech-language pathologists and is grounded in extensive research. The program is evidence-based, meaning that it has been shown in multiple studies to improve the social communication skills of children on the autism spectrum.

The strategies you learn in More Than Words will become such a natural part of the way you interact with your child that you'll be using them long after the program is over without even noticing. In this way, the many benefits of More Than Words will continue for years to come.

For a detailed research summary, click on the link below:

Guidebook and DVD

The chance to connect with other parents

One of the greatest benefits of the More Than Words Program is the opportunity it provides to connect with other parents. When you feel like no one understands what you’re going through, you can often feel isolated and alone. At the More Than Words Program, you’ll meet other parents in the same situations. You will have opportunities to share experiences with other parents, gain insight from their experiences, and make new friends who really understand what you’re feeling.

What parents say about the More Than Words Program...

“My son has made incredible strides due to your program. He has surprised a lot of people. What I really love about the program is that we are taught to work with our children. After all, an SLP may see them once a week, but we are with them around the clock, so if we can help with their speech it is actually a more beneficial situation for the children. Your course is invaluable and a must-do for parents, relatives and friends. I am forever grateful”
– Debra, mother of 4-year-old Anthony

Finding a More Than Words® Program

More Than Words programs are offered by Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologists all around the world, either in person or online. Use the links below to find an upcoming program or to find a Hanen Certified SLP who uses More Than Words strategies in their day-to-day work with families.

Learn more about the online program

Find a Hanen SLP

Find a Hanen Program