By Ian | Download Fortnite here: https://pixly.go2cloud.org/SHkr
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Ian has a stutter. That's when you get stuck on a word, or words, and it makes it very hard to talk and communicate. It is some times called a speech impediment. And, it singles a kid out, and it's then easy for other kids to make fun of.
When Ian was really young it wasn't too much of a problem, and kids were just more accepting and wouldn't let his stutter bother them and they wouldn't immediately judge him for it. Either they knew it was just a speech impediment, or they just didn't care and could look past it - but from his experience the older they kids were the meaner they were.
When he got to sixth grade something happened at school that really upset him and got under his skin. It was his first day at a brand new school, and he didn't know anybody, not one other student. When he walked in he saw a kid his age in the hall who looked nice and who all the other kids seemed to know and be friendly with. So Ian gathered up his courage and went over to say hi and introduce himself.
But, with a little nervousness making things even harder on him, the minute he opened his mouth it was all stuttering and stammering, and, that kid who had seemed nice just a couple of moments before, he just started laughing at Ian, and pointing, and embarrassing him in front of all the other kids. That moment crushed any self-esteem Ian had collected, and things got harder after that.
That one kid went and told all his friends about Ian and his speech impediment, and so those other students and classmates all started to make fun of him too. After that, kids would make fun of him every day, all day long. He tried to explain to them that it was just a speech disorder but they just went on bullying him.
This went on all year, and his parents tried to help, they got him to work with a speech therapist and she did help him to work on his stutter, and to work on how he felt about it and himself. He was able to manage it better, but it hasn't gone away.
But more importantly he worked with her to understand that his stutter was a part of him, a strong part of who he is, and he got to the point that he realized, no matter who makes fun of him, that he wouldn't change who he was, including his stutter, for the world.
With that acceptance of himself he grew more confident, has made real friends, and stutter or no stutter, he knows he has a great future ahead of him.
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