Hanen eSeminars: Choosing initial vocabulary targets and a competition for Autism Awareness month


I took my first Hanen eSeminar a couple of months ago, and I’ve been able to apply what I learnt, straight away. I think this is the first eSeminar or online training, that I’ve paid for. It was easy to log in and I could watch the 2 hour video whenever I wanted with 30 days of unlimited access. There was also a handout to download. It was recorded live, so there were some parts when the presenter asked the people watching live to answer questions or vote. It looked like fun! I used this time to make notes and jot down questions.

Definitions of Late Talkers

The eSeminar was titled: Choosing Initial Vocabulary Targets for Children Who Are Late Talkers. I was interested in the topic because I’ve been seeing more and more children under 2 years old, a good proportion of whom are Late Talkers. Some of the information presented was from Hanen’s Target Word program. Cindy Earle who presented the eSeminar began by describing Hanen’s clinical definition of Late Talkers (as opposed to the research definition.) She said that children with less than 24 words at between 18 and 20 months, 40 words at between 21 and 24 months, and 100 words, with no or limited word combinations at between 24 and 30 months, (and no other major concerns in other areas), require therapy.

Communication Goals and Vocabulary Targets

The eSeminar covered risk factors and predictors of change, and then we started thinking about communication goals. I had previously worked on imitation as a goal, but never being noisy! Cindy talked about the importance of learning to vocalise with every communicative turn or “being noisy” and it’s something I’ve incorporated into my work. Cindy moved on to discussing vocabulary targets, providing a useful checklist, including: target words should be motivating for the child to say and starts with a sound in the child’s repertoire. There was also some interesting information about gestures and a discussion about having the word ‘more’ as a target. I hadn’t really considered before that ‘more’ isn’t useful for initiation. I’ve been focussing on verbs and motivating items since watching the eSeminar.

The eSeminar concluded with some video case studies so we could apply what we’d learnt. I really enjoyed the format, the information presented was relevant to my work, and Cindy easily kept my attention for the 2 hours.

Discount on Hanen’s eSeminars about Autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. Or as the folks over at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism prefer: Autism Acceptance Month. And Hanen are offering 40% off their Autism eSeminars with the code: AAMSEM16. Check out the eSeminars available and remember the offer expires on 30th April.

Win a free eSeminar

The team at Hanen have kindly offered me a free Autism eSeminar to give away! Leave a comment on this post telling me the vocabulary targets you’ve had most success with (“Thomas?” “Up?” “Cake?”) and I’ll randomly select a winner in a weeks time.

4 thoughts on “Hanen eSeminars: Choosing initial vocabulary targets and a competition for Autism Awareness month

  1. Chris

    An e seminar sounds great. I’ve re entry moved to a new area and it’s hard to access training.
    I think “more” is often very successful with my younger students especially when linked to highly desired activities of the child’s interests

  2. Lydie

    I’ve followed some MOOCs but no eSeminar so far, it looks really interesting!
    The vocabulary targets I’ve had most success with are “encore” (more), “ballon” (baloon), “chat” (cat), “livre” (book) and “ipad” but the majority of these words are about material I use in therapy, so not very functionnal for the child’s life at home.
    I’m looking forward some improvement of my work in this field.
    Lydie (french SLT, sorry for my poor English)

  3. Katie Price

    specific vocabulary can be identified by watching what the child really wants and what they are motivated by, which can be totally different to what the parent thinks they will want to say! I also find most success by hooking new vocabulary to consistent vocalisations the child is already using as well.
    Thank you for the opportunity to enter this draw! 🙂 Katie

  4. Anna Caruana Smith

    Thanks for posting about the Hanen e-seminars, I didn’t know they existed! I often target vocabulary which has symbolic noises attached to the words e.g car (beep beep/brrrrm), dog (woof), train (choo choo) etc, and try to use play with lots of opportunities for this e.g train set, farm set etc!

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