"We learned so much!"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / Speech and language therapy

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter is Autistic and as a result her language, understanding and communication skills are delayed making it difficult for her to speak to people or express herself. I attended the Hanen More than Words course hoping I'd at least gain a little info out of it. When I attended the initial group meeting in Cumbernauld with Ann, I dreaded getting there as we don't drive and live in Airdrie. We were then offered the course in Hairmyres Hospital in the evenings which we would never have been able to attend by bus. We'd have been lucky to be home by 11pm. We had to decline and we felt guilty at not being able to help our daughter.

A few months later I received an email from Ann offering us a place in Airdrie Health Centre! I couldn't believe she'd remembered us, especially with massive waiting lists. We could easily have been passed over for declining the first offer of a placement. We are really grateful at having the chance to attend and being able to take part!

The course is fantastic! It's relaxed and everyone understands what you're going through as they're going through similar. They loan out the More Than Words book to each couple so you don't have to pay for it and can have it at home to read between sessions. The information is amazing! We learnt what we were meant to be helping our daughter with and how to help her. Our daughter has came on leaps and bounds since using the techniques and Ann has been a great help. She goes out of her way to offer personal help and advice for your child and also informs you of local support for both parents and children. There are home visits where Ann will come out at a time that suits you both and go through an exercise. You then get to have some feedback and she gets to know your child a bit better so she can offer better advice for your child's own needs and not just textbook info.

I recommend this course to anyone I know that has a child with Autism all the time as the changes in our daughter are great!

The only negative thing about the course is that there's not more of them set up around Health Centres local to people. We waited months after our first referral and months again to get on a local course. If there were more of these courses put on in all areas, more children would benefit and more parents would have less waiting times.

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

picture of Pauline Downie

Dear Mr and Mrs W

Thank you so much for your positive feedback about the Hanen More Than words programme. I am very glad to hear of the benefits to your daughter. While it is a group course for parents I think that the home visits and video feedback make it very personalised for everyone's child. Also when parents are given the knowledge and skills they can help their own child.

Anne is a really experienced and dedicated therapist who is also a Hanen trainer. We do try to offer the Hanen programme in different locations in Lanarkshire but it is not always possible for everyone to travel I know. Next year the Speech and Language Therapy Service are training more of our staff in the More Than words programme and I hope that we will be able to offer a wider range of times and venues.

Your comments have been so helpful in describing the programme and I hope that other parents will read them.

Best wishes to you and your family and I hope that your daughter continues to make progress.



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