Sertoma Kids, Inc. is offering a FREE 8-week course for parents of children 5 years old and younger who have speech and language delays. An orientation session for the program will be held on Tuesday, March 26, at 6 pm at the Sertoma Kids Clinic, which is located in the Bari Brooks Center of the Sarasota Family YMCA, 1075 S Euclid Avenue in Sarasota. Weekly sessions begin in April. To register, contact Sertoma Kids’ clinical director Pam Plank at 941-812-8232 or speech and language pathologist Michelle Wade at (321) 436-8189.

Based on the Hanen Program’s “It Takes Two to Talk” learning series, the Sertoma Kids’ program is designed specifically for parents of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have been identified as having a speech or language delay. In a small, personalized group setting, parents will learn practical strategies to help their children learn language naturally throughout their day together.

The program teaches parents, step-by-step, how to become their child’s most important language teacher, while also showing them how to:

  • Recognize their child’s developmental stage and style of communication;
  • Identify what motivates their child to interact with them so they know how to get conversations started;
  • Adjust everyday routines to help their child take turns and keep interactions going;
  • Follow their child’s lead to build his or her confidence and encourage him or her to communicate;
  • Add language to interactions with their child to help him or her understand language and then use it when he or she is ready;
  • Tweak the way parents play and read books with their child to help the child learn language; and
  • Change the way parents speak to their child so that he or she will understand and learn new words.

All sessions are taught by a certified speech and language pathologist who is specially trained in the Hanen Program. Funding for the Sertoma Kids’ “It Takes Two to Talk” program was made possible by a grant from the Junior League of Sarasota.