Criterion Child Enrichment

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Criterion Hanen Group

Criterion – Heritage Early Intervention offers a communication-focused parent education series

Have you ever heard of the Hanen Program®? No? Well, let us tell you a little about it!

Criterion – Heritage Early Intervention Program in South Hadley offers two different types of Hanen Programs for parents of children with language delays. The first is called “More than Words®” which is specifically for parents of children on the autism spectrum and the second is called “It Takes Two to Talk®” which is for parents of children who have a language delay.

The goal of both groups is to address communication skills by teaching parents strategies to support their child’s language development at home throughout the course of their everyday activities.

The Hanen parent group sessions run for 8-12 weeks.  At the beginning, middle, and end of the session, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) makes a home visit to each of the families in the group and videotapes parent-child interaction. The videotape is reviewed and discussed with you so that you can “see” what is helping.  The SLP will also identify ways that you can further assist your child.

According to Deirdre Morrissey, Program Director, “The group offers the best of all possible worlds, listening and learning in a group setting, practicing on your own, and having a one-on-one with a Speech Language Pathologist.”

It is important to note that while the two programs are similar there are also important differences.

Parents who participate in It Takes Two to Talk® learn how their child communicates right now, the next steps to take, what motivates communication, and how to engage their child in back and forth “conversation”.

More than Words® is a program that provides parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or social communication delays with practical strategies for helping their child communicate.  Parents learn how their child learns best and how to take advantage of their preferences.

Both programs help parents turn everyday activities into opportunities for learning to communicate.  The home visit component provides parents an opportunity to discuss specific communication goals and strategies for their child.

If you or someone you know has a child with a speech-language delay and you live in the Holyoke/Chicopee/South Hadley area, contact the Criterion – Heritage Early Intervention program at 413-533-7140 to learn more!


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