More Than Words — The Hanen Program

More Than Words — The Hanen Program

The More Than Words Program is a parent training program for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other Social Communication difficulties. This program teaches parents strategies to maximise learning and communication opportunities when interacting with their child, to enhance their child’s ability to connect and communicate with the world. The More Than Words Program recognises the importance of the parent-child relationship and empowers parents to be the experts in their child’s social communication development.

The More Than Words Program offered at Melbourne Child Development is suitable for parents of toddlers through to early school age with either a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Disorder, or with recognised social communication difficulties.

Social communication difficulties include;

  • difficulties understanding and using nonverbal communication (eye contact, facial expression, body language, voice, gesture)
  • difficulties engaging with others
  • difficulties with shared attention
  • difficulties initiating and continuing interactions with others

Learn more about the program by visiting The Hanen Centre website.

Telehealth Implementation

Melbourne Child Development is now able to offer the More Than Words Program via telehealth format, making it even more accessible for our families. Developed by the Hanen Centre, the program offered via telehealth maintains the evidence-based structure for parent coaching and video feedback that is provided in the face-to-face sessions, but with the flexibility of completing the Program from your home. The program will be offered via Zoom, which is free to download and easy to use. For more information about what Telehealth looks like at Melbourne Child Development, click here.

Program Structure

The program is facilitated by 2 Hanen Certified Speech Pathologists and consists of;

  • A pre-program consultation for you and your child with one of our Speech Pathologists facilitating the program via Zoom.
  • Eight parent training sessions conducted in small, personalised groups via Zoom.
  • Three individual observation sessions for you and your child with one of the Speech Pathologists facilitating the program, in which you are videotaped while practising with your child. You and the Speech Pathologist will watch the videotaped interaction to see the strategies in action, and to discuss what is working well and what can be modified to increase the communication interactions. These sessions will also be conducted via Zoom.
    • Pre-program Consultation
    • Parent Training Session 1
    • Parent Training Session 2
    • Individual Observation Session 1
    • Parent Training Session 3
    • Parent Training Session 4
    • Individual Observation Session 2
    • Parent Training Session 5
    • Parent Training Session 6
    • Parent Training Session 7
    • Individual Observation Session 3
    • Parent Training Session 8

More Than Words Programs Running in 2020

Melbourne Child Development will be running their next More Than Words Program on Saturday afternoons from July 2020, with the pre-program consultations occuring in mid-June – early-July 2020.

Melbourne Child Development will be holding a free More Than Words Information Session on Saturday the 13th of June 2020 at 1:00pm – 2:30pm via Zoom. This information session will be an opportunity to learn all about the research behind the More Than Words program, what you can expect to learn in the program, and what is required for participation in the program. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and the Speech Pathologists will be available after the Information Session to discuss any questions specific to your family. The program dates and costs of the 2020 program will also be outlined on this afternoon.

Registration for the More Than Words program will open after the More Than Words Information Session. Attendance to the Information Session is strongly recommended for any families interested in participating in the program.

To register your attendance to the More Than Words Information Session please contact the client services team via telephone on 9890 1062 or via email at

Program Terms and Conditions

  • Enrolment in the More Than Words Program requires commitment to  all sessions (pre-program consultation, eight parent group training sessions, three individual observation sessions). It is a requirement that at least one parent attend each parent training session.
  • An administration fee is required to enrol in the program for administration costs. This fee is non-refundable* and will be taken off the cost of the first session.
  • A cancellation fee of 50% of the per session cost will apply if cancelled within two business days of the session time. Cancellation fees are usually the responsibility of the parent/carer as most funding and rebate programs do not cover these.

*Should the group not proceed for reasons determined by Melbourne Child Development, any administration fees paid will be refunded.