Hanen "More Than Words" Programme

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Speech and Language Therapy

picture of Pauline Downie


The Hanen “More Than Words” Programme is delivered by Speech and Language Therapy specialists. The programme was designed specifically for parents of children aged five and under, who are recognised as being on the autism spectrum and also have other social communication difficulties.

The programme provides parents with the tools, strategies and support they need to help their children reach their full communication potential. The Programme requires a significant time commitment from parents in order to ensure that they have the best possible learning experience.

Included in the programme are:

  • An orientation session for parents
  • Eight two hour training sessions in small, personalized groups
  •         Three individual visits for parents with their child where they use some of the tools and strategies that they have learnt. We film parent-child interactions at these visits to see what is helping   

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about how the programme helped both parents and children:

However, it became apparent that, while the programme was very highly regarded, parents also commented on the availability and accessibility for all parents in Lanarkshire:

We have been listening to what people accessing our services have said and have made some changes to the Hanen 

More staff trained

We have trained more Speech & Language Therapy specialists who can deliver this programme through training. We now have 54 staff delivering the programme across Lanarkshire which is more than double the original 25.

More locations offered

We originally delivered the programme in Cumbernauld, Wishaw and East Kilbride. We have expanded that to now include Motherwell, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Bellshill, Hamilton, and Clydesdale.

More parents attended local More Than Words Groups

Prior to 2016, one out of 10 parents attended a local More than Words Group.

In 2018, two out of three parents attended a local More than Words Group.

As a result of constructive feedback from parents, particularly through the Care Opinion platform, we have been able to improve the Speech & Language Therapy service in Lanarkshire and make it more responsive to local needs.

You can find out more about the programme via this link www.hanen.org

If you think you and your child could benefit from this programme please seek advice from your local speech and language therapy team. Visit the Services section of the NHS Lanarkshire website for the details of your local team www.nhslanrkshire.org

If you have an experience about NHS Lanarkshire that you would like to share please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk

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