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Peer attitudes toward children who stutter

Article reviewed: "The Peer Attitudes Toward Children who Stutter scale: Reliability, known groups validity, and negativity of elementary school-age children’s attitudes", by Marilyn Langevin, from the Journal of Fluency Disorders, 34 (2009) 72-86.

Background for the study

Research indicates that children who stutter are less well accepted socially, less likely to be seen as leaders, and more likely to be teased and bullied.  In order to address this situation, clinicians have developed programs to educate children about stuttering. Some are designed for classes that include children who stutter. Others are meant for all students.

Marilyn Langevin of the University of Alberta has developed a teasing and bullying prevention program that includes a unit about stuttering. The program, Teasing and Bullying: Unacceptable Behaviour (TAB), is designed to help all children deal with bullying, not just those who stutter.

TAB features classroom activity sheets, parent handouts, and a video. It defines bullying and teaches strategies for dealing with it. In the unit on stuttering, children learn about the muscles involved in speech and how stuttering interrupts their coordination. They learn about common myths related to stuttering. Video clips show the vocal folds during normal speech, and when a person simulates a laryngeal block. The video also features classroom scenes, and children working together to generate classroom rules aimed at reducing teasing and bullying.

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