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In this informal environment, children who stammer may worry about being teased or bullied by other pupils, or misunderstood by supervising staff. When other children easily chatter these children may hang back. 

Sometimes frustration about the inability to speak like others can cause them to hide their anxiety by being silly or disruptive.  Occasionally a child may choose to just avoid talking and keep away from other children and staff. At playtime, staff can intervene directly, as shown in the video, if they know the child well.  Otherwise it might be best to express concern to the class teacher.

When a younger child needs a toilet he should be allowed to go, even if not able to speak clearly; gestures or request cards should be accepted, as an embarrassing accident could really damage self-esteem.


  • Monitor playground behaviour to check that all pupils are joining in co-operatively, or happily playing individually.
  • Keep an eye out for teasing and bullying and act promptly.
  • Pass on any serious concerns to the class teacher.

It is important that supervising staff monitor behaviour and intervene when a concern arises. Lucy, who stammers, appears to be 'left out' by the other children.