Children's therapy

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Early intervention (up to 7 years): Palin Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (Palin PCI)
  • Palin PCI is a programme for younger children which has been developed by the Centre. It may also form a basis of therapy with older children
  • Palin PCI has been published and has been researched at the centre to see how effective it is. See our research programmes for more detail.


How does it work?

Palin PCI aims to help parents identify what they are already doing that supports fluency and to help them do more of what works. A key goal is to improve the family's confidence and skills in managing their child's stammering.

How often are the sessions?

Six, one-hour weekly sessions are arranged. There is then a period of 6 weeks when families continue working on tasks at home without coming in to the Centre for sessions (the 'consolidation period'). There is a further session at the end of the consolidation period when parents and their therapist review the progress that has been made.

What happens in the sessions?

The therapy sessions are structured around play so that it is fun for the child. Play sessions with each parent are videod and played back in order to identify what the parents are already doing to support their child's fluency.
Many parents initially express surprise to discover that their role in therapy is such an active one and sometimes feel worried about trying to make changes. While few of us find making changes easy, the rewards for their hard work quickly become clear.
Sometimes during the initial six-week period of therapy, time is also taken to discuss other more general issues that parents would like help with as these are often very relevant to stammering. This can include finding other ways of dealing with behaviour such as temper tantrums, managing bedtimes, building confidence through praise and general turn-taking within the family.
For some children it may also be important to work on other speech and language skills if these are developing more slowly than they should.

Will we have homework?

Yes. A crucial part of any therapy is the work that is done at home. Importantly, your child is likely to enjoy it as it is centred around them having a special play time with each parent. As parents you will have things that you practice during this time. Your therapist may occasionally give you something to read, and if you discussed broader issues for the family, such as turn-taking or establishing more routine bedtimes, then you may decide to work on these with your therapist's support.

Why does how I'm talking make a difference?

Communication is a two-way process. The way we talk affects the other person and vice versa. If the conversation is rapidly paced, with everyone talking at once, we automatically do the same. In a calmer, more relaxed situation, we have more time to think about what we want to say and listen more carefully to what the other person has to say, and probably talk more slowly too.
If a child is trying to speak very quickly he or she is more likely to stammer. In therapy we need to find out what influences a child's rate of talking and how we, as adults, can help a child to give himself more time when he is talking. Sometimes this is about general pace of life and turn-taking within the family as a whole.

Lidcombe Therapy

All MPC therapists are Lidcombe trained. If you have already been working on the Lidcombe programme with your local therapist or have questions about it, your MPC therapist will be able to discuss this with you.
For more information about Palin Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, click here.

8-14 year-olds: Palin Stammering Therapy for Children (Palin STC)

Individual Therapy
Individual sessions are sometimes recommended for a family. These will be arranged weekly and usually require between 6-10 sessions with regular review appointments. The content of therapy will be related to the needs of the child or teenager and family, but broadly speaking will include: gaining a better insight into stammering; learning some strategies for developing confidence; problem solving and negotiation skills, as well as fluency enhancing strategies.

10-14 Intensive Therapy Courses

Twice a year, in April and October, an average of eight children within this age range take part in a two-week intensive course. The parents and the children work in two parallel groups with regular joint activities. The aim is for both groups to gain a better understanding of stammering, what makes it worse and better, how it differs between individuals and how it varies in certain situations and over time. There is a structured programme of activities to enhance fluency, social communication and problem solving skills. There are group activities, games, discussions, practice sessions and fun times too.
The most important aspect is to help the children and the parents feel more confident in managing the problem more effectively. It is especially helpful for the child to know that his parents have a real understanding of stammering, are sensitive to his individual needs and have a range of ideas for supporting him.
Follow-up group meetings continue for one year in order to maintain progress, and individual sessions are offered when needed. Click here for more information about Family Communication Skills Therapy.
For more information about our 10 to 14s intensive course, click here.
To watch a short video clip about the course, click here.
Last updated19 Jun 2019
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