Authors: Preston R, Halpin M, Clarke G, Millard S
Title: Palin parent-child interaction therapy with children with autism spectrum disorder and stuttering
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2022 97: Article ID: 106217
Year: 2022
Research Design: Single Case Design

INTRODUCTION: It is estimated that 8% of children who stutter (CWS) have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Briley & Ellis (2018). There is evidence that interventions for CWS and interventions for children with ASD can be effective, but there is little evidence to guide clinical decision making when working with CWS with a co-existing diagnosis of ASD. Palin Parent-Child Interaction (PCI) therapy Kelman & Nicholas (2020) is an evidence-based intervention for CWS, with the authors suggesting that the approach may be beneficial for CWS with ASD. The aim of this study was to examine outcomes for three CWS with ASD who received Palin PCI at a specialist centre for stuttering in London. METHOD: The participants were three CWS with ASD aged 4;5, 6;7 and 7;7. Assessments were administered before therapy, and then at three, six and twelve months after therapy began. Outcome measures included stuttering frequency, child's communication attitude, parents' perception of the impact of stuttering on the child, the severity of stuttering and its impact on the parents, and parents' knowledge and confidence in managing stuttering. RESULTS: All three children showed improvement in three or more variables. Four out of five parents reported reduced impact of stuttering on the child and themselves following therapy, and change was maintained one year post-therapy. All five parents reported increased knowledge of stuttering and confidence in managing it after therapy, and four parents maintained these changes for a year. CONCLUSIONS: Over a one year period, these CWS with ASD who received Palin PCI showed change across multiple variables. The observed increases in parent knowledge and confidence were comparable to previously published data. These preliminary findings suggest that CWS with ASD and their parents can benefit from Palin PCI therapy and that further experimental evaluation of this approach with this client group is indicated.

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