Grade school

Hello,

Throughout my Elementary and Middle school years, kids in my classes would purposely pick on the kids who had stuttering issues to read in front of the class. I would see this happen to the same few kids often. Did you ever experience this? or dread having to read in front of the class?

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Comments

Grade school — 3 Comments

  1. I can’t remember being picked on, but I do remember dreading when it’d my turn. I always tried to read ahead to prepare myself for what paragraph I’d get, and read it over and over again in my head to see if there was any words I knew I’d get stuck on. I was scared to death I’d stutter. It was definitely traumatizing experiencing that level of anxiety, fearing people’s reactions and feeling I wasn’t allowed to stutter.

    Thank you for your question.

    – Andrea

  2. My first memories of stuttering were the experiences of reading in class. Like Andrea above, it was very traumatic. I also don’t really think I was bullied because I stuttered when I was reading but I do remember the kids laughing at me. It was that laughing that made me dread that situation and those memories stick with you all your life. It is akin to PTSD that soldier’s experience after war. It is that same memory and trauma of losing control. Like the soldier fears death by shooting the child fears death by public humiliation. As a child I did not really stutter with my friends when I was talking in the playground or after school. I was a well liked child. It also helped to be the class clown which I may have developed in an effort to be accepted and liked but I was never bullied. Stuttering when I was reading or answering questions in class or talking to the teacher was as much a puzzle to the other kids as it was to me. Teachers need to be aware of how such loss of control and humiliate to a young child can lock in irrational fears, phobias and self defeating emotions for the persons entire life.

  3. Sad to say it happened to me. As a child, as an adult, as a lecturer in schools talking about stuttering. Not just by students, but also by teachers. (I described some examples in my paper for this year’s ISAD conference https://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2020/papers-presented-by/stories-and-experiences-with-stuttering-by-pws/there-are-no-failures-just-life-lessons-anita-blom/)
    And having been a camp leader for children and young adults for 20+ years, we keep on hearing these stories still today. Luckily it’s changing the more stuttering awareness, spread by SLPs and PWS. 🙂

    Stay safe and keep them talking

    Anita

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