Bullying — 2 Comments

  1. Hi! This is a great question. You may want to ask this question in the “Talk to a PWS” thread, but as a sibling of a PWS and a person who stutters myself, I will answer it. 🙂 The answer to this question is a very personal one, and truly depends on your personal journey with stuttering.
    As a sibling of a person with stuttering, my brother has stuttered since the age of 6. I never witnessed him to be bullied because he is 5 1/2 year older than me, but I did witness my family talking about his stuttering behind his back. I defended him as it really hurt my feelings. When my family approached my brother about his stuttering, he would generally just walk away. He didn’t know how to defend himself I don’t think.
    As a person who stutters, my story is quite different from others. I didn’t grow up stuttering… I am 37 and started stuttering at the age of 36 due to a brain injury. I can say, however, that in the four months that I have stuttered I have already been accused of faking my stuttering. In that moment I responded with, “I am not faking my stutter, I stutter because of a brain injury.” Now, I didn’t have to say that. I didn’t have to tell that person anything, and neither do you. I don’t think that it is the person who stutters duty to educate the world.. I think it is the world’s duty to do better and seek education… With that, if you wish to educate people, that is beautiful and amazing.. good for you. 🙂 But you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.. Also, remember that most of the time.. bullies are bullying because they are either jealous, or because there is something going on in their life too that is making them feel the need to bully.. so they need counseling just like the rest of us…. I hope that helped. 🙂

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for your question. I believe it is extremely important to discuss this issue. I completely agree with Stephanie. I would also like to point out that bullying is a serious problem experienced by many children and adults. We need to be aware that individuals who are different in some way can be exposed to teasing and bullying more frequently. Research carried out in the last decades confirmed that this also applies to stuttering. That is why it is so important to treat bullying openly and proactively in our logopedic intervention in stuttering. In my opinion, the first step is to strengthen the child’s self-esteem, self-confidence and perception of himself/herself and his/her speech, so that he or she is able to respond adequately and assertively to any forms of teasing/bullying targeting his/her by stuttering. It is crucial to make these children aware that it is not their fault and that they can ask for help. They should be positive that they are OK and that it is bullying which is not OK! In my opinion, it cannot be done without cooperating with the parents and the child’s immediate environment. Parents need to understand stuttering and be shown that their child is different, but not worse. For parents, being able to accept that their child stutters can sometimes be a very long and difficult process. However, without this acceptance, it is difficult to build a strong and self-confident child. Moreover, it is often necessary to educate the child’s teachers and their peers on this subject. Nonetheless, I believe that these activities must be multifaceted and constantly discussed with the child and his parents. It is the child who should be involved in the decision-making process regarding who and what knowledge (about stuttering or about bullying) could be shared with peers. This allows to strengthen the child’s sense of independence and self-agency, which could be a crucial factor for the SLP’s effectiveness in stuttering intervention.
    Kind regards, KW

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