Manual for Youth Workers (YW) on How to Work with and Support Young People Who Stutter (YPWS)
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission Erasmus+ programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
This manual is created for youth workers (YW) who want to learn more about working with young people who stutter (YPWS) and how to support them when needed. There are already handbooks on youth work, though none specifically cover the topic of stuttering. At first glance, it may seem that there are an insignificant number of people who stutter, but studies have shown that on average one percent of the population stutters (Guitar, 2014) – about 70 million people worldwide.
While some YPWS are have accepted their stutter, many more feel alone. There can be biased and incorrect assumptions associated with what stuttering is and many YPWS are bullied at school. Stuttering can affect their relationships and cause low self-esteem and fear in social situations (Daniels, Gabel, & Hughes, 2012; Hugh-Jones & Smith, 1999). Certainly, YW are motivated to create a pleasant environment where people feel good about themselves, accepted, respected, and part of the group and would dare to be themselves. But what can be done? How do we get YPWS, regardless of the stuttering severity, to think they are speaking well, have high self-esteem and good relationships with YW-s and other young people and to not be afraid of social situations? Since stuttering is primarily a barrier to social situations, we use the social information process model (Appendix 2; Crick & Dodge, 1994) as a base model to describe what to take into consideration in order to achieve the desired result (Toomela, 2015). It is important to consider all parts of the social information process (described in five chapters below), 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).
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Estonian Stuttering Association (EKÜ)
Iceland Stuttering Association (Málbjörg)
Sigríður Fossberg Thorlacius, Satu Tuulia Nygren
Netherlands foundation (Anatta)
Conclusion + Appendix 1 + Appendix 2