Therapy for 8-14s

Group therapy at the MPC

The Michael Palin Centre’s 2 -week group therapy programme for children aged 10-14 years has been running for over 30 years. Our research as well as feedback from families who have come on our course shows that it makes a meaningful difference. Read more here about the logistics of attending a group therapy programme but also how life-changing it can be.

Our Spring and Autumn, 2-week groups for 10-14 year olds

Accessed via the MPC assessment clinic

Find out how to refer a child for an assessment

Key things to know

  • a unique programme developed by the MPC and run for over 30 years
  • documented in the BBC documentary “The Kids Speech”
  • held twice a year (April and October)
  • daily each week from Monday – Friday
  • 10am – 3.30 pm each day
  • approximately 8 children
  • parallel parents’ group
  • both parents attend daily if a 2-parent family
  • four follow-up meetings for one year
  • additional individual therapy, face-to-face or by Skype, during the year if needed
  • skills and confidence-building for children in a fun and friendly environment
  • a packed programme for parents
  • available to families living in Camden or Islington, living elsewhere subject to funding being agreed with local NHS Commissioners, or families wishing to pay privately
  • where funding is not available through local NHS Commissioners the MPC is able to apply to Action for Stammering Children to support attendance on the course

What parents have said:

“This has been a life-changing experience, not just for my child but for us as a whole family.”

“On our first day a parent from a previous course exclaimed that the MPC was a life-changing experience. We sat and wondered how could another speech therapy course be life-changing but we can safely say, after completing the course, that all of our lives have changed for the better. Our child is completely different! She is now a confident young lady who happens to stammer but it doesn’t stop her doing anything and we as parents are no longer worried that her stammer will dictate her life.”

Dates for our next 2-week group:

Due to COVID we are not currently offering this group format.

Our new 5-day group

This format was trialled in 2020 as an online group and we will continue to offer this during 2021.

Key things to know:

  • daily from 10am -3.30pm (days may be shorter if online)
  • either face-to-face at the MPC or online using Zoom depending on COVID status at the time
  • parallel parents’ and children’s groups
  • both parents attend each day if a 2-parent family
  • four follow up meetings during the following 12 months
  • available to families living in Camden or Islington, living elsewhere subject to funding being agreed with local NHS Commissioners, or families wishing to pay privately
  • where funding is not available through local NHS Commissioners the MPC is able to apply to Action for Stammering Children to support attendance on the course

Dates for our next 5-day group:

25th-29th October 2021

Photograph: Rory Sheridan

What is covered on an MPC course?

Children learn skills which will help them:

  • communicate more effectively and confidently
  • learn to cope with stammering with more flexibility and resilience
  • grow in their courage and confidence to do the things that they want to do and say what they want to say
  • learn how to be more ok about stammering
  • learn skills to help them deal with challenges

Parents have the opportunity to:

  • understand their child’s experience of stammering more deeply
  • learn about fluency skills and the advantages and disadvantages in these
  • explore how being more allowing of stammering will help their child
  • reflect on their own communication skills and how to use these to help their child grow in confidence and communicate more effectively
  • meet other parents and forge a network of support
Photograph: Rory Sheridan

Listen to Chris and Helen talking about coming on a 2-week course with their son

Could an MPC group be right for my child?

Does your child:

  • want help with their stammer?
  • like the idea of meeting other children who stammer?
  • have the ability to concentrate and learn, in a group, for the day?

Are you:

  • able to attend for the entire two weeks and attend follow up days?
  • interested in meeting other parents?

Download a leaflet about the 2-week course:

How effective is this therapy?

Millard (2011) followed 15 children for a year who completed a 2-week course. This study found that:

  • children stammered less during the two weeks itself
  • overall, this trend continued over following the year (with some variation especially around 5 months after the course)
  • stammering had less impact on the child
  • parents felt more knowledgeable about stammering and confident that they knew how to help their child.

Millard, S. (2011). Intensive Group Therapy for Children Who Stutter: Early Evidence. SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, 21, pp.22-32.


Therapy for 8-14s
THE MICHAEL PALIN CENTER HELPLINE

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

HELPLINE

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

Our Helpline, 020 3316 8100, is open during office hours (9am-5pm) and voicemail messages can be left when the office is closed.

“It really helped me to understand what my daughter is thinking and feeling and how I can support her.”

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