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Practical Intervention for Early Childhood Stammering


Palin Parent Child Interaction therapy is an early intervention approach that was designed for stammering and has been adapted for use with children with other speech and language needs, as well as with children and other adults e.g. education staff/carers. The transferable skills taught in this course include engaging parents in the assessment and therapy process; communicating complex and/or sensitive information to parents; using video feedback to develop parents’ confidence and skills; and addressing wider child management issues with parents, e.g. emotional, behavioural issues. These skills are applicable with a wide range of clinical contexts and caseloads.

This three-day workshop is particularly suited to student SLTs close to qualification and to newly qualified therapists and to overseas therapists who may benefit from the pace of the course being slightly gentler and from additional skills practice time.

Course Aims

It will aim to increase speech and language therapists’ knowledge and skills in assessing and identifying those children who are at risk of more persistent problems, as well as in the treatment of early stammering. The course will cover the assessment and management of this age group and is potentially applicable for children up to 7 years of age. The workshop will be supported by video demonstrations of therapy at the Michael Palin Centre as well as skills practice and discussion.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course participants will:

  • be familiar with a screening device to decide on care pathways for children who stammer
  • be familiar with an assessment protocol for children under seven who stammer
  • be familiar with the structure and content of Palin Parent Child Interaction (Palin PCI) therapy
  • be more knowledgeable about assessing and treating children under seven who stammer

Course Content
Day 1:

  • A Multifactorial Model of Stammering
  • A brief research update – current research into the factors contributing to stammering; risk factors for young children who stammer; interaction styles & stammering
  • A screening device to decide on vulnerability to persistence and appropriate care pathways
  • Child Assessment - including brief fluency measurement
  • Case history taking and formulation about what contributes to the child’s stammering and what the individual child needs

Day 2:

  • Principles of Palin PCI
  • Palin PCI: Interaction Strategies; using the video in parent-child interaction therapy
  • Palin PCI: Family Strategies: building confidence, turn taking, dealing with feelings.
  • Skills in working collaboratively with parents including using parent packs
  • Brief summary of efficacy of Palin PCI studies

Day 3:

  • Palin PCI: Child Strategies including direct fluency therapy
  • Managing co-existing speech and language difficulties
  • Care Pathways – service delivery for children under seven who stammer
  • Action planning


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