TalkAbility — The Hanen Program® for Parents of Autistic Children Who Are Speaking in Sentences and Having Conversations

Are you looking for ways to help your child have longer conversations and connect with others more easily? Research shows that there is a lot you can do during the everyday interactions and routines you already have with your child to build their social communication skills.

The TalkAbility program is designed for parents of autistic children ages 4-8 who are speaking in sentences and having conversations. The program makes the most of your child's unique strengths and preferences, as well as their natural day-to-day activities, to help them find more joy and connection in their interactions and to foster mutual understanding between your child and the important people in their life.

What You'll Learn

TalkAbility gives you research-based strategies to use during the everyday activities you already do with your child. In this way, your child expands their social communication skills in the natural context of the things, people and topics that matter to them, making the learning more meaningful to them.

TalkAbility strategies help you:

  • Understand your child's perspective and help them understand the perspectives of others.
  • Support your child to have longer, more meaningful conversations with both adults and peers.
  • Encourage your child to understand non-verbal messages within the social context in which they are communicated.
  • Foster your child's friendship skills.

Program Format

TalkAbility programs are offered by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) around the world who are certified by The Hanen Centre to lead the program. The program may be offered either in-person or online and includes:
  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with the SLP.
  • 8 practical and interactive classes for small groups of parents.
  • Individual video feedback sessions of you interacting with your child, followed by reflection and discussion on what is helping and what else you could do.

Program Resources

Program participants use the Hanen guidebook, TalkAbility: People Skills for Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum. This practical resource outlines all the strategies covered in the program with illustrated examples, as well as checklists to identify your child's strengths, as well as where they need the most help. 

If you are waiting to attend a program or are unable to attend one, you may purchase the guidebook from our website to learn strategies you can start using right away and to share with any professionals who may be working with your child.

Research Behind the Program

Grounded in extensive research, the TalkAbility program was designed by speech-language pathologists who specialize in autism and other social communication difficulties.

Read our Research Summary for more details.

Connection with Other Parents

Parents tell us that one of the biggest benefits of the TalkAbility program is the opportunity to interact with other parents. In a small, personalized group, you'll share experiences, gain additional insights and ideas, and form connections that may last long after the program!

What Parents Say About the TalkAbility™ Program

“After my child learned to talk, I didn’t know what to do next – I just knew he needed more help. The TalkAbility program gave me 1000 new ideas on how to help him progress to the next level, both in his conversation and play with other children. He still plays with the little boy he met through the program.
- Tracy, mother of Aiden

Finding a TalkAbility™ Program

Use the links below to find a Hanen Program or to find a Hanen Certified SLP in your area.

Find a Hanen SLP

Find a Hanen Program

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