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"Hanen More Than Words Programme"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Speech and Language Therapy

(as a service user),

Anne SLT (South Lanarkshire based in Cumbernauld) ran this 8 week intensive course for parents of children experiencing communication difficulties (mainly with children on the autistic spectrum). I am a parent and also an allied health professional and found the course interesting, informative and full of great hints and tips. The course being offered at night was a huge plus to most adults undertaking the course but daytime courses were also offered. Each unit covered different topics  in depth such as body language, the importance of play and techniques such as 'ROCK' were shown and video clips were useful in illustrating points The best bit was that time was taken by Anne to get to know each individual child and family, which led to a tailored approach. It was also useful to build relationships with other people in the same or a similar boat as you. We found Anne to be very knowledgeable and understanding and her expertise was clear and the extra 1-1 time spent with our boy at home (part of the course)  meant she was able to assess and record difficulties which other SLTs have not been able to do.

For a change it was refreshing to have another professional in our boy's (and our) corner as being a parent of an ASN child becomes wearing when your child acts differently at school than home and you are not believed by a variety of health,social and educational professionals as to the extent of the needs affecting your child's and family life. Anne offered to go over and above by giving information which would not traditionally be a part of her role eg benefits entitlements and offered to write a report to supplement our boy's forthcoming autism assessment with the PACT team.  The positives far outweighed the negatives re the course - 2.5 hours per session over months does seem long (but is worth it in terms of increased communication with and from your child)  and being videod while playing with or reading to your child seems daunting but is actually fine (and an essential learning tool). I personally would have liked more time with the book which has to be returned at the end of the course, as fitting in time to read it was difficult for me, but some handouts were given, and you could always buy/borrow a book if you wanted.  If you got to the end if this well done, I didn't mean to go in as much and may be needing a 'talkability' course for myself.

Being listened to

Being listened to


Responses

Response from Pauline Downie, Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Pauline Downie

Dear Mama AM

Thank you for taking the time to feedback on your experience of the Hanen More Than Words programme. I am so pleased that you found it beneficial and it has had a positive impact on your son's communication.

We have been running this course in Lanarkshire for over 15 years now and we are very fortunate to have Anne who is also a Hanen tutor. I will pass on your message to her.

I am glad you mentioned taking a video of the parent-child interactions as part of the learning as parents often find this daunting - perhaps this will get easier as people are so used to using their phones or tablets to take videos these days!

I am pleased that Anne was able to point you in the right direction with regard to benefits maximisation. Now that we are working in a more integrated context of Health and Social Care it is very important to make every communication count, which means our SLT staff are developing a wider knowledge base of what matters to people.

I hope your boy goes from strength to strength.

Regards

Pauline

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