Friday, April 8, 2011

More Than Words: Helping Parents Promote Communication Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Fern Sussman

As a professional who works with children with ASD and their families there are just some resources that are an absolute must have and for me More Than Words is definitely one of those resources! The guidebook, which is typically used by parents when participating in a More Than Words Training group facilitated by a Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologist, is filled with outstanding information about how to effectively promote social communicative development in children  with ASD. What is so wonderful about this book is that it shows parents (teachers, other caregivers, and therapists) how to apply a core group of language support strategies to children at four different levels of developmental functioning. Beginning with children at the "Own Agenda" stage (children who prefer are not yet intentionally communicating with other people) and continuing until children reach the "Partner" stage (children who stay longer in interactions with other people and who are beginning to use words, gestures, or picture exchanges for a wider range of reasons), this guide provides practical suggestions on how adults involved in the lives of children with ASD can encourage these children to participate in more socially directed exchanges, which is the best place for meaningful language to develop. The book also helps parents identify and manage other factors, such as sensory issues, that may be contributing to their child's inability to engage in social exchanges. The guide helps parents (and professionals) to identify developmentally appropriate communication goals for young children based on current levels of social communicative development. It is an outstanding resource that is a perfect hands-on guide for helping adults tackle the challenge of engaging a child with ASD. The guide is published by the Hanen Centre located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Hanen Centre has a world-wide reputation for creating educational programs and materials that are designed to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists promote language development in young children within the context of meaningful social relationships. If you're looking for more information about the Hanen Centre, check it out at

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