Rachel Cortese, MS Ed, MS CCC-SLP, is a licensed Speech-language pathologist who has completed specialized training and certification from The Hanen Centre, an internationally recognized leader in speech and language intervention techniques. The It Takes Two to Talk® — The Hanen Program® was specifically designed for parents of children with language delays.
It Takes Two to Talk® takes place in a family-centered, small group setting where parents and caregivers learn skills to enhance interactions with their children and learn specific techniques that facilitate speech, language and communication development.
The It Takes Two to Talk® program consists of an initial individual consultation session, three individual treatment sessions, eight small group training sessions, and a final individual feedback session at the conclusion of the program. By the end of the program, you will know what to say and what to do to be your child’s most important language teacher. The strategies will become a natural part of the way you interact with your child.
During the 8 group sessions you’ll learn step-by-step, how to:
- Recognize your child’s stage and style of communication so that you know which steps to take next
- Identify what motivates your child to interact with you so you’ll know how to get conversations started
- Adjust everyday routines to help your child take turns and keep interactions going
- Follow your child’s lead to build his confidence and encourage him to communicate
- Add language to interactions with your child to help him understand language and then use it when he is ready
- Tweak the way you play and read books with your child to help him learn language
- Change the way you speak to your child so that he’ll understand and learn new words
During the individual meetings, Rachel will help you to advance your use of strategies to help your child achieve their individual communication goals. You will receive on the spot feedback and coaching from direct observation and videotape.
The program concludes with a meeting between you and Rachel to discuss your child’s progress and a plan for additional follow-up, if necessary. A written report discussing your child’s goals and progress will be provided.
AN EVIDENCED-BASED PROGRAM
Research has shown that involving parents is the most effective way to promote language and communication development in young children and that the language enriched environment that parents can offer their children on a daily basis can have greater outcomes then a visit with a speech language pathologist once per week.
The program is based on research on early language intervention and on the importance of parents’ and caregivers’ involvement in the intervention process. For more information, please refer to the research summary on the It Takes Two to Talk® program, here.
Families will receive the It Takes Two to Talk® course book and handouts, which will be used through out the program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IT TAKES TWO TO TALK®
Who is the It Takes Two to Talk program for?
This program is appropriate for parents and caregivers of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have a range of communication difficulties- from mild speech and language delays (i.e. late talkers) to severe problems acquiring speech and language.
What is a language delay?
Language delay occurs when a child does not develop language abilities according to the typical developmental timetable. Language delay is not the same thing as a speech disorder, in which smooth clear talking is disrupted by problems like stuttering or articulation errors. Speech and language delays are relatively common, and account for the largest group of children receiving early intervention services.
If my child has a language delay, how can this program help?
In the It Takes Two To Talk® program you will learn how communication develops and the various stages that children go through as their language skills develop. Knowing how and why a child is communicating is important because it helps us to identify what strategies are likely to be helpful in encouraging the next stage of communication. You will learn what to say and what to do with your child to promote his language skills. Once you’ve completed the program, the strategies you’ve learned will become a natural part of the way you interact with your child.
Why is this program recommended over regular speech and language therapy sessions for my child?
Research has shown that involving parents is the most effective way to promote language development in young children and that the language enriched environment that parents can offer their children on a daily basis can have greater outcomes then a visit with a speech language pathologist once per week. This program teaches you, step-by-step, how to facilitate your child’s language naturally throughout your day, thereby becoming your child’s most important language teacher. Additionally, one of the greatest benefits of the It Takes Two to Talk Program is the opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers in similar situations. However, the program is also highly individualized for each family. During each group session there will be an opportunity to personalize the information by planning together how to apply information to your child’s individual situation. The pre-program consultation, individual sessions and feedback session all offer extensive opportunities to discuss your child’s unique needs and practice using the strategies with your child.
Will insurance cover the fees?
We will provide you with a detailed statement of services provided for you to submit your claim directly to your insurance carrier. We suggest consulting your insurance carrier in advance for the specific benefits of your plan.
Does my child need an evaluation before we begin the program?
An assessment of your child’s speech and language development is a necessary part of understanding your child’s current stage of communication and developing goals to help them to the next level. As part of the pre-program consultation, Rachel will meet with you and your child. If you have a previous speech and language evaluation, you are encouraged to share it with Rachel prior to beginning the program.
Will anyone be directly working with my child during this program?
No, we do not work directly with your child during the group sessions. Parents and caregivers attend the group and individual sessions to learn the strategies that encourage their child’s communication. Your child will participate in the pre-program consultation and the three individual sessions with you and the clinician. The It Takes Two To Talk® program helps parents help their children.
How many families can participate?
Your group will consist of 3-6 families.
What is a pre-program consultation?
After you register, the pre-program consultation is an individual meeting with Rachel Cortese, MS CCC-SLP, a Hanen- certified Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), prior to beginning the first session in the program. Pre-program consultations will be scheduled at your convenience. The purpose of this consultation is for Rachel to meet you and your child, discuss the program in more detail, do an informal assessment of your child’s communication, develop and discuss communication goals for your child. We also make a brief videotape of you interacting with your child. This tape is used to help both you and Rachel become aware of how you and your child interact and communicate together. The appointment will last approximately one-and-a-half to two hours.
What happens at the individual visits?
Over the course of the program you will have three individual visits at your home with Rachel, which will include videotaping and feedback. The individual visits and videotaping is an important part of the program as it provides parents and caregivers with the opportunity to learn the strategies that best meets the needs of their child.
Do we need to attend all group sessions in the program?
Full participation in the program is necessary you and your child to benefit from it. Because new information is covered each session, it is important to attend all sessions. If you need to miss a session, please let Rachel know in advance.
Are there any assignments that I will need to complete between sessions?
Prior to each group session, there will be a small amount of reading and you will be asked to practice what you learn with your child each week.
What materials will I need?
It Takes Two To Talk: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Language Delays is a guidebook written for parents on how to encourage children’s language development and will be included in the cost of the program fee.
What happens at the conclusion of the program?
At the conclusion of the program, you will schedule a one-hour feedback session at your convenience. During the feedback session, you will discuss your child’s progress and a plan for additional follow-up, if necessary. This session is included in the cost of the program fee.
What are the statistics, success rates and/or outcomes with Hanen?
Considerable research related to the It Takes Two To Talk® program has been conducted over the years. Highlights of research involving interactions between mothers and children following an It Takes Two To Talk® program show that:
- Mothers learned to use the strategies and kept on using them after the program ended
- Children became more involved in interactions by taking more turns, both verbal and non-verbal
- Interactions lasted longer and occurred more frequently
- Children’s language improved
- For more information regarding research on the It Takes Two To Talk® program, refer to the research summary on the Hanen website.
How do I learn more about the program before I sign up?
If you are interested in learning more about the It Takes Two To Talk® program, you can read more about it here: http://www.hanen.org/Programs/For-Parents/It-Takes-Two-to-Talk.aspx. You are also encouraged to email or call with any questions and to attend an optional, free orientation session.
How do we join It Takes Two to Talk®?
To apply for the It Takes Two To Talk® program, please contact us for upcoming dates and availability.