Living with a stutter – Willemijn Bolks

About the Author: My name is Willemijn and I am a 19 year old girl from the Netherlands.  From age 12 to 17 I hid my stutter, which forced me to express myself in other ways than speech. This is one of the reasons why I started making art. I’m currently studying design at artschool, and trying to be more open about my stutter. I do this by talking about it and making art or videos. Connecting with other people who stutter really helps me as well, and I’m hoping to go to international stuttering conferences in the future.

NOTE to viewers: Please note before starting video, content is in Dutch with English subtitles at bottom.

In this video I speak my mind, opening up about struggles for people who stutter, in a humoristic and serious way.

771 total views, 24 views today


Living with a stutter – Willemijn Bolks — 13 Comments

  1. Another great video! Thanks for do these! Hope that more young people see these because it helps to understand so many nuances of our experiences.

  2. Very cool, Willemijn!
    Stuttering does not remain due to bullying – it’s a lot more complex. However, the main thing I take away from your wonderful video is the benefit of speaking about our stuttering, not hiding, and living our lives. You show us that this is possible, and I thank you for that.


    • It differs from person to person. For me it was definitely due to bulying and I have a lot of people that had the same thing happen. (Stuttering as a mindbody disorder).
      Thank you.

  3. This is a great video! I watched for the 2nd time now and it is still very enjoyable. Awesome that you share this with us 😀
    Een geheime stalker.

  4. Thanks for the video! Willemign, what kinds of experiences have you had with speech therapy, good or bad? What kind of advice would you give for a person who is going to be working with children/adolescents who stutter to help facilitate their journey towards acceptance?

    • I never had speech therapy, I only went to a course when I was 18. From others I often hear that they kept stuttering after they went to therapy when they were young, because they felt like something was wrong with them. It will be better if the therapy doesn’t treat stuttering as a bad thing. It’s not their fault.

  5. What a wonderful video! I thought it was amazing how you gave insight into your everyday life and explained how even daily activities can be stressful. I also really appreciate how you can make light of your situation. I was just reading your earlier answer about how you went to a course when you were 18 but never to speech therapy. Do you have any insights for what you would have liked to work on if you did attend speech therapy? Thank you again for sharing your experiences with us. I loved getting a look at what your day to day might look like and I thought your humor was fantastic. 🙂

    • Thank you! I would like if speech therapy didnt approach stuttering as a thing you need to get rid of. Focussing on acceptance and relaxation/being open about it.

  6. Thank you for sharing the video.

    Did you find yourself not talking in the classroom while you were in school?

    Is there anything you would have liked to tell your teacher, or anything you would have liked your teacher to do differently?

  7. Hi Willemijn!

    I am a graduate student studying speech therapy! I really enjoyed watching your video! I thought it was very enlightening to see the interactions you had with people. I loved how the man reacted by saying that people need to take time to listen and be more patient.

    Do you feel like you have to explain your stuttering to people whenever you first meet them or do you just avoid the topic?

  8. Hi Willemijn,

    I’m from the US and I loved your video! I think support groups can be really helpful for relating to others with a stutter. Are you a part of any stuttering support groups? If so, what are your favorite experiences with them?



  9. Willemijn,
    I loved your video! It was humorous and also insightful of your challenges with stuttering. I am a graduate student in Speech Language Pathology in the United States and I was wondering if you ever went to speech therapy? If so, how was that experience for you? Thank you!

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