Target Word® – The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children who are Late Talkers
If your child is under the age of 30 months and you’ve noticed that he frequently communicates messages and ideas to you, but does not use as many words as other children his age, the Target Word Program may be able to help.
This program was specifically designed for groups of parents of children under the age of 30 months who are using few words or who, by the age of 24 months, are not using several two-word combinations. These children understand what they are told, have good play and turn-taking skills, and have no trouble learning everyday routines. But when it comes to using words, their vocabulary is limited.
The Hanen Centre identifies a late talker as a child who meets the following criteria:
- Has an expressive vocabulary of fewer than 24 words and is between 18 and 20 months
- Has an expressive vocabulary of fewer than 40 words and is between 21 and 24 months
- Has an expressive vocabulary of fewer than 100 words and/or limited two-word combinations and is between 24 and 30 months;
- Has relatively good skills in his or her other areas of development (learning, gross and fine motor, play, social, etc.) and
- Has some risk factors, such as limited use of gestures, limited use of different speech sounds, and having a member in the extended family who has had speech or learning difficulties
If you’re the parent of a child who may be a late talker, the Target Word Program can help you learn practical strategies that will increase your child’s use of words and build his vocabulary during the everyday activities you do together.
- How to build language-learning opportunities into everyday activities and routines
- What to do when your child communicates without using words to help him move to the next step
- How to introduce “target” words into everyday routines and playtime
- How to repeat target words frequently in everyday situations to create opportunities for your child to say words
- How to turn play time into language-learning time