Knowledge for Parents to Encourage Communication

Olivia's Place Comments Off , ,

Hanen 1The 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!).


Hanen 3Claire 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.


Hanen 4During 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 LinClaire 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.

Hanen More Than Words Program: Empowering Parents

Olivia's Place Comments Off , , , , , ,

Between October 2016 and February 2017, three families dedicated 12 Saturdays with Hanen-certified speech-language pathologists Yi Lien and Chihui Yong at LIH Olivia’s Place to complete the More Than Words ®: Hanen program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and other social communication problems.

Hanen’s More Than Words® is a program developed by speech therapists with expertise in the field of communication disorders and backed by extensive research. It empowers parents to help their child with social-communication difficulty or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reach three goals:

1 Improved social communication and back-and-forth interactions
2 Improved play skills
3 Improved imitation skills

Through the program, parents reported the following improvements in their child:

 Increased joint-attention skills
 Improved response (to parents), increased interaction and imitation skills (verbal/actions)
 Improvement in play skills

With regards to the program’s approach, one Shanghai parent reported:

“The trainers guide us to analyze and think of other ways to achieve the (communication/play) goals targeted. They used reflective questions to help us think. Unlike other programs, we were not given a template to copy, but were equipped with the strategies to help us interact/communicate better with our children.”

It was truly an exciting journey witnessing parents applying Hanen strategies to facilitate more back-and-forth interaction with their child, and hearing them generating their own creative ideas to communicate better with their child.

Due to the success of our workshop, we have decided to offer another it again. The workshop will be held in Mandarin Chinese. We would like to invite parents or teachers of children with social-communication difficulty or autism spectrum disorder to a free orientation session to learn more about the program.

Date : March 25th (Saturday)
Time : 2.30- 4.30pm
Venue : 41 YongJia Road, Office # 503
Contact Number : 021-5405-0058/59

For more information, please call LIH Olivia’s Place Shanghai or email us.

Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk® Workshop Comes to Shanghai

Olivia's Place Comments Off


by Zara Kan, Speech-language Pathologist, Eliott's Corner

by Zara Kan, Speech-language Pathologist, Eliott’s Corner


In November 2013, ten speech-language pathologists attended training in Shanghai to become certified in the evidence-based “It Takes Two to Talk®” Hanen program. It was attended by five local Shanghai therapists from Olivia’s Place and two Beijing therapists from Eliott’s Corner. Other therapists flew from Hong Kong and Taiwan to attend the three-day workshop instructed by the Hanen-certified instructor, Jo Bristow. 


What Is Hanen?

The Hanen Centre is a Canadian non-profit organization that provides trainings and workshops to speech-language pathologists and other professionals with the intent to provide children with quality interventions that allow them to develop strong speech, language, social, communication and literacy skills. Rather than speech pathologists providing 1:1 intervention to young children (which has been the traditional way to provide interventions) the program strives to educate and train groups of parents on how to provide intensive intervention for their children at home in everyday routines and activities.

What is It Takes Two To Talk®?

Jo Brixton, Hanen Instructor, presents It Takes Two to Talk in Shanghai

Jo Brixton, Hanen Instructor, presents It Takes Two to Talk in Shanghai

This program is designed to give parents the tools they need to provide interventions for their children in their own home during everyday routines, activities, and interactions. This is about an eight week course (if you do it as designed) that is taught to a small group of parents by a certified speech-language pathologist. Parents come to classes (without their children) to learn specific strategies to use with their individual child, and the SLP does at least three home visits to help guide and coach the parent on using the strategies with the child.

What I Love About this Workshop and the Program

-          It really helps to answer the question, “how am I going to make a difference in the way this child communicates when I only see them once or twice a week?”

The answer is, the people who spend the most time with the child need to be doing the intervention. This program taught me how to teach parents how to do what I do in straight forward parent friendly language. It empowers parents and gave me lots of great tips and ideas on how to make this happen.

-          All of the materials are provided for the speech-language pathologist. There are slides, parent workbooks, research summaries, and a file containing everything you need to lead the parent programs yourself with detailed instructions and tips for each session.

-          Hanen allows you to use their materials within your regular sessions. The program provides great videos and handouts which can illustrate exactly the strategies and skills you are teaching a parent so you can choose relevant information and videos to illustrate different therapy techniques for a variety of needs, not only those with language difficulties.

-          The training was a very hands on and interactive workshop. We were offered many chances to try things out and also got the chance to teach a small part of the program for practice with support from Jo, the instructor. It brought the course to life and there were many suggestions on how to adapt it to different scenarios and parent responses.

Overall, it was a really inspiring course which changed my way of thinking and really made me re-evaluate why I do what I do with parents. I will definitely encourage parents to become more involved in their child’s speech and language development, both in therapy sessions and at home using these strategies.