Young people

Dealing with teasing or bullying

Are you experiencing teasing or bullying – about stammering or anything else? Bullying (about anything) whether it’s verbal, physical, online or face-to-face is never ok, and if you are being bullied it is not your fault.

Teasing can be harder to interpret. The person doing the teasing might think that they are being jokey but if you are being teased about stammering and you find it hurtful then it is not ok.

Here are some ideas about ways to handle things if you are a young person who stammers and you are being teased or bullied.



What can I do?

Take a minute to check it out

Did the person mean to be unkind? Sometimes people comment on stammering in a way that is insensitive but without really meaning to be hurtful. For example people might ask “How come you talk like that?” or ask “Have you forgotten your name?” or might make a joke about stammering but it’s more thoughtlessness than deliberate unkindness.

What you think someone was intending will guide how you respond. Sometimes matter-of-fact information helps. Try saying “I stammer, it can take me while sometimes” or “No I haven’t forgotten my name but stammering makes it hard to say it sometimes.” See what happens.

Keep with your friends

People are more likely to be bullied if they have fewer allies. Your relationships with others matter. Talk to your teacher, speech and language therapist or school counsellor if you find it hard to make friends or want help developing better friendships.

Don’t react

This one is hard to do if you’re feeling got at but it is really important. Psychologists have found that people are more likely to pick on someone if that person reacts. Bullies want the reaction. When someone ignores their bullying comments, brushes it off maybe even with a laugh or jokey reply then they do not get the reaction that they were after. They are much less likely to target you again.

Practice not reacting and see what happens.

Tell someone

Tell a parent, carer or close relative, a friend that you trust, a teacher, your speech and language therapist, the school counsellor. Decide today to let someone know if you are being bullied.

Call or text for help

Childline – 0800 1111 to chat to someone about any problem big or small

The Michael Palin Centre helpline – 020 3316 8100 to speak with a therapist

Stamma – 0808 802 0002 to speak with a volunteer

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

Free, 24/7 crisis support in the UK

For urgent help text YM to 85258. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Young people

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to


Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

Our Helpline, 020 3316 8100, is open during office hours (9am-5pm) and voicemail messages can be left when the office is closed.

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