Tuesday, November 8, 2011

update on hannen program...

so i blogged about the hannen program back in september...and i have two classes left and wanted to do an update on how i felt everything went.

the idea behind the program is to train the parents to be able to most effectively communicate with their children through the different stages of communication...and to hopefully help the children to gain a better understanding of language and the need behind communication. the program utilizes all forms of communication (sign language, speech, pointing, pictures...) and helps you as the parent to understand where it is your child is in both understanding language and expressing communication.

here is what i loved about the program:

they trained me to be a speech therapist for camden...so instead of sitting in an hour long therapy session with someone else trying to get camden to communicate with them it is all about how we, as parents, communicate with our kids. i loved this because camden is shy, and i see three thousand things in a day, that a therapist probably won't ever see in an hour a week...so i know where camden is with his communication and i can build on that more effectively than an hour a week with someone else who doesn't see what he is capable of day in and day out.

they took video! and yes it was intimidating, but it was sooo helpful to see how camden and i interact and what things i do naturally with him, and what i can improve on. they did a new video every two weeks so that you can track how you have changed in your interactions.

they help you better understand your child, his personality type and the ways in which best to communicate with him through each stage.

they took everyday scenarios and turned them into learning moments. because honestly, when do we have time to sit down with our kids all day and work on speech...we don't. so they show you how to take your everyday routines, that you are already doing, and naturally work communication into them using several techniques that build upon one another. it helped to make the process of speech therapy a natural part of our day, and gave us the ability to actually incorporate it throughout our day.

and so much more...

there were really so many great things that i took away from this program...and i would definitely recommend it...we started it in september, it was on wednesdays for 2.5 hours, parents only (two weeks on two weeks off) with an at home follow up and video taken on the off weeks). time consuming, yes, but if you have the time it is worth it. if you don't have the hannen program in your area (our school district offered it through early intervention) they have a book. it takes two to talk

i can honestly say we saw a huge improvement in camden with his communication. a lot, i am sure, was because we caught him right at the time that he was ready to learn and beginning to take off with his communication, but i do feel like hannen helped me to best take advantage of the last few months. he went from twenty or so signs to over sixty. he went from saying mom and dad and no to attempting to say around 16 words (they definitely aren't perfect words and mostly vocalizations like "eise" for please and "aaaaba" for amen but they are attempts at speech!)...he is also making 6 animal sounds. plus you take what you have learned and move forward on your own after the program ends. so all in all, it was well worth it for us.

we will still see a speech therapist throughout next year, to help camden gain the muscle tone in his mouth he needs to speak clearly, but this program was a great start.


  1. That's fantastic!! And I like the idea behind it, because like you said, you know Camden the best and see so much more daily than a therapist popping by once a week ever will. I am going to look into this!

  2. You are amazing! That's extremely impressive that his speech is up to the level of an 18 month old! Addison is just now starting to say a couple of words, so I am in AWE. Good work!


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