The non-profit lecture More Than Words – Daddy and Mommy, I Hope You Can Understand Me held by LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen on 28 July was praised by parents. Claire Lin, a Hanen Centre-registered and accredited speech therapist, presented the two-and-half-hour training to parents who wished to learn about communicating better with their children.
By analyzing multiple cases through video and using questionnaire surveys from parents, Claire vividly introduced how More Than Words teaches parents, enabling them to clearly judge which speech developmental stage their child is in, and how parents, according to the unique situation of each child, can positively motivate their to interact with others to further develop their social communication abilities. Claire’s first request of the audience was to name a a scenario in which you communicated with others today. One participant admitted thinking to himself, “Is ordering breakfast at KFC a fitting scenario?” (Yes!).
Claire analyzed what children need while interacting with others from four dimensions, namely person, reason, method, and understanding. Parents then analyzed the communication difficulties their children have encountered according to these four dimensions. One parent commented following the session, “This is the first time I have heard about such a way of analyzing, and all of a sudden I realize where my child has problems.” Following this exercise, parents used a Hanen-designed assessment survey to determine their child’s current stage of social communication: Own Agenda, Requester, Early Communicator, and Partner.
Claire noted repeatedly that parents need to know their children’s developmental stage and find the right methods to open the door of communicating with them. Claire asked the parents to discuss in groups about the interaction between children and parents in video-based examples and the warm discussion made it apparent that the parents were very engaged students.
Daily life, while seemingly simple, has ample subtleties that can help children grow. What children need is the learning opportunities brought to them by family and nature on a daily basis. Therefore, by studying the More Than Words course, parents can, according to each child’s unique developmental state, learn to use common games or interaction principles to properly help children and stimulate their desire to communicate. In this way, children can understand the communication with parents and become willing to get involved in interaction.
During the tea break, studious parents continued to discuss with therapists about their children. Dr. June Lee, Psychologist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen also answered questions raised by parents, which many found very beneficial.
Parents said that the vivid description and the evidence-based interaction principles were extremely helpful. Many found the lecture very practical, but commented that they wished it was longer! One parent, when given the opportunity to provide feedback, joked that “The course is excellent except that the air conditioner is set a little low,” a reflection of these parents’ dedication to learning how to best to support their children even in the heat of a Shenzhen summer!
Claire Lin is a Speech-Language Therapist at LIH Olivia’s Place Shenzhen. She is aHanen Center registered and accredited speech-language therapist. She is also a member of the Taiwan Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has SRJ Oral Motor Therapy Level 1 training, as well as Relationship Development intervention (RDI) training.