Manual for Youth Workers (YW) on How to Work with and Support Young People Who Stutter (YPWS)
Estonian Stuttering Association (EKÜ)
Iceland Stuttering Association (Málbjörg)
Netherlands foundation (Anatta)
This manual is created for youth workers (YW) to better work with young people who stutter (YPWS) and support them when needed. Youth workers have different handbooks but there is no specific one for youth workers about stuttering. While at first glance it may seem that there are few people who stutter, studies have shown that on average 1% of the population stutters. Thus, there are about 70 million people who stutter worldwide. Most youth workers know what stuttering is, but the knowledge on how to support YPWS may be lacking. Many YPWS are fine with their stutter, but many are alone with this, many are being bullied at school and it is affecting their relationships, causing low self-esteem, and fear in social situations. Certainly, youth workers are motivated to create a pleasant environment where people would feel good, accepted, respected, feel part of the group and would dare to be themselves. But what to do? How to get young people who stutter, regardless of the severity, to think they are talking well; they would love to go to youth camps or youth centres; they would have high self-esteem; good relationships with youth workers and other young people and they would not be afraid of social situations? Since stuttering is primarily a barrier to social situations, we use the social information process model (Crick & Dodge, 1994) as a base model to describe what parts, in what respect, should be represented in order to achieve the desired result. There are five parts in the social information model and they are explained in five chapters. It is important to consider all parts of the social information process, as otherwise we may end up with activities that result in even more bullying and negative self-esteem (if, for example, attitudes towards stuttering are very negative and the young person is asked to make an oral presentation to a large group). We want to emphasise that this manual is created by stuttering organisations from different countries for a wide audience with different experiences. So, if you think that some parts are too obvious, you can skip them. We still recommend looking at them from our perspective, as you might learn something new.
After reading this manual, we kindly ask you to answer to questions, this way we can be sure you have necessary knowledge to work with YPWS. Also, we appreciate comments about the manual, which you can write at the end of the text.
Wishing you a happy read!
Conclusion + Appendix 1 + Appendix 2