Stuttering and Social Acceptance
A study done in England had four hundred and three children from 16 different classes in 16 different schools participating in a research study to determine how children who stutter are socially accepted. The age ranged from 8 to 14 years old with the mean being 11 years of age. In each of the 16 classes, only one child stuttered with the rest of the children being non-stutterers. Every student was then interviewed individually and asked to pick 3 children out of the class that were liked most and 3 that were liked least, and then asked to pick 3 students who fit a certain category best. The categories were shy, assertive, co-operative, disruptive, leader, uncertain, bully, and bully victim (Davis, Howell, & Cooke, 2002). The results concluded that children who stutter have a much lower acceptance and popularity rate than children who do not. It was found that 43.75% of children who stutter were rejected compared to 18.86% of children rejected who do not stutter. Only 6.25% of stutterers were found to be popular compared to 25.84% of non-stutterer popularity. Children who do not stutter were twice as likely to be viewed as leaders. Another significant disparity is that stuttering children were more likely to be categorized as a bully victim (37.5%) and to be viewed as seeking help (25%) compared to peer counterparts (10.6% and 13.18%) (Davis, et al., 2002). These characteristics would place the majority of stuttering children in the rejected-withdrawn peer acceptance category. This category of individuals is passive, socially awkward, excluded by peers, and are likely to be victims of bullying (Berk, 2012).
One of the most important things for me to teach my clients is that stuttering is OK. They should not feel ashamed or embarrassed which are common feelings of stutters. These feelings may inhibit their willingness to converse and make friends. However, a peer support system is crucial to limit the risk of the children to feel isolated and rejected. Therefore, I will want to encourage them to embrace their language diversity (AG 1.4). I can promote this by showing them that what they say is important by giving them my full attention when they are speaking. Also, I can praise him/her when they share thoughts and ideas. I will be sure not to interrupt or finish the child’s words or sentences. All of these methods will help boost the child’s confidence in their speaking ability. I must make it a priority to find the right balance of embracing who they are and their language disability to eliminate insecurities, while also explaining and keeping the therapy and remediation of the stuttering the goal.
Stuttering and Bullying
A study done in 2011, researched the correlation between bullying and its prevalence and effects on children who stutter. In order to test their hypotheses on children who stutter would be more likely to be bullied and children who stutter and children who do not would...