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From: Alan Badmington (to Lynne)
Time: 3:32:56 PM
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Although I was not teased, I am aware that many persons who stutter are subjected to teasing and bullying at school and in other environments. I realise that I was, indeed, fortunate.
At school (as mentioned in my earlier posting), I feel that my sporting prowess held me in good stead with my peers. In the company of my closest friends, I was reasonably outgoing, while in the presence of strangers (and those not so close), I would always have difficulty expressing myself.
Some of the pupils (with whom I conversed in the playground) were surprised when I later blocked severely when reading aloud or responding to questions in the classroom. I relied heavily upon word substitution but came unstuck when I could not employ avoidance practices (eg when giving my name and address; reading aloud; having to say a specific word in response to a question etc).
Looking back through my life, I now realise that I was never introverted. I was generally at the centre of what was happening and, fortunately, enjoyed an above average sense of humour. (Indeed, I often used this latter attribute to break the ice when speech problems occurred).
All in all, I guess I had a positive outlook and, despite huge setbacks, I was determined to lead as full a life as possible. I respected myself and accepted whatever challenges that I encountered. That is why I joined the police service at the age of 19 - but that's another story. (You may wish to check out 'Wedding vows' if you have a spare moment).
Stuttering is so misunderstood by the public and, frequently, by members of one's own family. I know that the latter is not the case in respect of Caroline, who has full support at home.
Schoolchildren (and the public in general) are often ignorant of the manner in which they should react to a person who stutters. I feel that PWS can do so much more to let them know how it affects our lives. I regularly undertake talks to community organisations on that very subject and find that they are totally oblivious to our problems and feelings.
Caroline has already demonstrated many splendid qualities at such a young age. She has shown such courage and I know that she will succeed in her attempts to overcome the bullying. Her contribution ( and that of yourself) towards this ISAD online conference will also encourage others (of all ages) to face up to similar behaviour.
Congratulations to you both.