Palin Parent Child Interaction (PCI)


Palin PCI is a therapy approach that has been developed at the Michael Palin Centre over a number of years (Kelman & Nicholas, 2008; Botterill & Kelman, 2010).  The components of the programme vary for individual families, based on the child’s need.  Generally, the approach begins with indirect strategies so that the parents’ may further support the child’s fluency development, with more direct speech strategies introduced later, for those children who still need them.

 Clinical reports detailing the positive impact for individual children has been available for a number of years (Rustin, et al, 1996). Matthews, Williams and Pring (1997) conducted a more structured single case systematic investigation of Palin PCI. They monitored the progress of a four-year old boy for six weeks before therapy, six weeks during therapy and six weeks post therapy. The percentage of words stammered was calculated from speech samples obtained while the child played with each parent in the clinic for a period of twenty minutes, once a week. The therapy resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of the child’s stammering. 

We have conducted two studies at the Michael Palin Centre investigating the effectiveness of Palin PCI with individual children (Millard, Nicholas & Cook, 2008*; Millard, Edwards & Cook, 2009*). Children were only included if they had been stammering for longer than 12 months before they began therapy. This means that they were at high risk of persistent stammering. In all cases, therapy consisted of only interaction and family strategies. Both of these studies have shown that Palin PCI can be effective with individual children. The second study (Millard et al., 2009) showed that the parents involved felt more confident about managing the stammering and less anxious about it. There are indications that for the majority a significant reduction in stammering should be evident within the clinic or home based therapy periods (consolidation period). If this is not the case, further input perhaps in the form of direct strategies, should be considered.