If you had a chance to look at my previous post, you might be wondering about the evidence behind the early language learning strategies that I shared. I wanted to summarize the results of a study I came across on the ASHA evidence portal. The full article can be accessed here.

A scenario review study was completed by research clinicians at the University of Purdue to compare treatment techniques for the birth to 3 population. Gladfelter, Wendt, & Subramanian (2011) reviewed 8 articles regarding treatment outcomes for the Hanen program, Focused Stimulation and Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching, which are briefly described below.

Hanen Program

  • indirect therapy approach involving parent education and implementation
  • incorporates several techniques such as following the child’s lead, expansion, repetitions, parallel talk and self talk

Focused Stimulation

  • clinician-directed or parent-implemented
  • involves providing several repetitions of a language target
  • incorporates several techniques such as modeling, repetitions and child-directed speech

Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching

  • a combination of clinician-directed and child-based treatment
  • involves establishing play routines, following the child’s lead and maximizing the child’s environment for communication


Results showed that a combination of the Hanen program and Focused Stimulation led to improved speech and language outcomes. Specific strategies of expansion, recasting, parallel talk, child-directed speech, visual cues, feedback, and increasing interaction opportunities also improved speech and language outcomes (Gladfelter, Wendt, & Subramanian, 2011).

Now What?

Feel confident about using these strategies in your sessions and sharing them with parents!

Gladfelter, A., Wendt, O., & Subramanian, A. (2011). Evidence-Based Speech and Language Intervention Techniques for the Birth-to-3 Population. EBP Briefs,5(5). Retrieved from https://images.pearsonclinical.com/images/assets/ebp/pdfs/EBPV5A5.pdf.

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