Teasing and Bullying (TAB)

People talking

Children who stutter are often teased and may suffer tension and anxiety as well as loss of self-esteem. This only aggravates their speech problem. The Teasing and Bullying (TAB) program was developed by ISTAR's past Clinical Director Marilyn Langevin to reduce teasing and bullying in schools.

TAB is a comprehensive bullying prevention program that helps children take responsible action by:

  • Changing attitudes towards teasing and bullying
  • Changing attitudes toward children with differences, particularly children who stutter
  • Providing a problem-solving approach using conflict resolution strategies
  • Encouraging peers to become active
  • Encouraging children who bully to change their behaviour

TAB was developed over a six-year period in consultation with elementary education teachers, counsellors and students. It was extensively field tested with 900 students and 37 teachers and has been shown to improve attitudes towards bullying, victims, and children who stutter (Langevin & Prasad, 2012).

Designed for use by teachers and school counsellors, TAB is also adaptable for use by psychologists, social workers, speech-language pathologists and others who work with children and their families.

The TAB program is now available in pdf format for a nominal $1 fee.

Download Teasing and Bullying Program

About the Author

Marilyn Langevin, PhD., R.SLP, SLP(C), CCC-SLP

Dr. Langevin has a long history with ISTAR, having served as Clinical Director prior to pursuing PhD studies at the University of Sydney in Australia.

During her master's degree, and inspired by children who were bullied though teasing and other forms of bullying - some of whom stuttered - Marilyn sought to develop a program that would simultaneously help all children deal with bullying and improve attitudes toward children with differences, particularly children who stutter.

"...when I began the research it became apparent that to be effective we must work with all children who are involved in teasing and other forms of bullying - the victims, their peers, and the children who bully. This led to a marriage of two goals: to provide educational materials that changed attitudes toward bullying, while at the same time improving attitudes toward children who stutter.

I sincerely hope that this program will make a contribution to the anti-bullying/anti-violence movement that is now gaining a welcome and overdue momentum, and that it will foster healthier and more satisfying relationships among children with and without differences."

Marilyn Langevin, PhD., R.SLP, SLP(C), CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor, Fluency Disorders (Research)
Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR)

Content + Usage

A DVD or videotape depicting a child being teased about stuttering and one being teased about her weight. In the video, peers become involved and solve the problem together with the victim + the child who bullies.

Ready to use lessons and activities that help students:

  • Understand the role of victims, bullies and onlookers in bullying
  • Gain respect for differences
  • Learn strategies for dealing with teasing and bullying
  • Develop confidence and enhance self-esteem through problem-solving and role-playing activities.

Reproducible parent information handouts and family activities to help parents gain an understanding of the dynamics of bullying and stimulate discussion of concepts and strategies learned in the classroom.

A unit devoted to stuttering and other differences to help students understand stuttering, the speech system and how to help someone who stutters. Students are encouraged to explore and discuss other differences.

TAB is suitable for use:

  • with elementary school children in Grade 4 to 6, but can be adapted for kindergarten to Grade 3
  • as a classroom-based program, as a part of a school-wide anti-violence program, and/or in individual or group counseling
  • by teachers, counselors, psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists and others who work with children

TAB is a recommended classroom resource in Alberta Learning's Safe, Secure and Caring Schools curriculum as well as the health and Life Skills curriculum. Alberta Learning is the province of Alberta's Department of Education.

Lesson Plans

The TAB program contains lesson plans for children, teachers and parents.


TAB uses discussion, written exercises and role-plays to help children:

  • Identify bullying behaviours
  • Differentiate teasing that is fun from teasing that is bullying
  • Regain power lost to children who bully
  • Respect and celebrate differences
  • Empathize with children who are bullied
  • Discuss the impact of bullying on peers or bystanders
  • Recognize the difference between tattling and responsible reporting or telling to get help
  • Learn conflict resolution strategies that can be used to respond to or prevent bullying
  • Build self-confidence in using conflict resolution strategies


Teachers are provided with:

  • Scripted, easy to follow lesson plans
  • Research-based, background information on bullying
  • A unit on rules, consequences and behaviour-change processes that includes effective conflict resolution strategies


Each unit in TAB includes parent information handouts and family activities to provide parents with:

  • Research based background information on bullying
  • Learning and practicing with their children the strategies and concepts discussed and practiced in class

Langevin, M. (2009). The Peer Attitudes Toward Children who Stutter Scale: Reliability, known groups validity, and negativity of elementary school-age children's attitudes. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 34, 72-86.

Langevin, M., Kleitman, S., Packman, A., & Onslow, M. (2009). The Peer Attitudes Toward Children who Stutter (PATCS) Scale: An evaluation of validity, reliability, and the negativity of attitudes. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 44, 352-368.

Langevin, M., Packman, A., & Onslow, M. (2009). Peer responses to stuttering in the preschool setting. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18, 264-278.

Langevin, M., Kully, D. A., & Ross-Harold, B. (2007). Peer Responses to Stuttering in the Preschool Setting. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18, pp. 264-276.

Langevin, M., & Hagler, P. (2004). Development of a scale to measure peer attitudes toward children who stutter. In A. Bothe (Ed). Evidence-based treatment of stuttering: empirical bases and clinical implications (pp. 139-171). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Langevin, M. (2002). Helping children deal with teasing and bullying. Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, 12(3), 10-14.

Langevin, M. (2001). Helping Children Deal with Teasing and Bullying. http://www.mnsu.edu/dept/comdis/isad4/isadcon4.html.

Langevin, M., Bortnick, K., Hammer, T. & Wiebe, E. (1998). Teasing/Bullying experienced by children who stutter: Toward development of a questionnaire. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 25, 12-24.

Langevin, M. (1998). Teasing and Bullying: Unacceptable Behaviour: Field testing report - September, 1998. (Unpublished report, available from the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research).

Langevin, M. (1997). Peer teasing project. In E. Healey and H. F. M. Peters (Eds.) 2nd World Congress on Fluency Disorders: Proceedings (pp. 169-171). The Netherlands: Nijmegen University Press.

Reviewer Comments

"...an excellent program especially well-suited to support children who are different for some reason and find themselves tormented by their peers."
Debra Pepler, PhD, LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution, York University.

"...an ideal component for inclusion in a school-wide social skills training program ... can serve as a valuable and practical stand-alone program for any elementary teacher..."
Jaan Pill, grade 4 teacher and co-founder of the Canadian Association of People Who Stutter (CAPS).

"...[TAB] will become a classic resource for teachers and other professionals who need clear and concise steps for dealing with the complex issues related to 'differences'..."
Rosalee Shenker, PhD, Montreal Fluency Centre, McGill University.

"...[TAB] meets an ever increasing need for those of us who work with people who stutter ... provides practical, well structured procedures."
Gyndon Riley, PhD, California State University and Jeanna Riley, PhD, Riley Speech and Language Institute, Tustin, California.

"...here for the first time is a program that helps teachers, speech pathologists and youngsters who stutter examine teasing and bullying ... the video and materials [are] valuable in guiding students from new insights to constructive changes in feelings and behaviour."
Hugo Gregory, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University.

"...[TAB] is phenomenal. A very effective tool. Scenarios were excellent. A real awakening."
Councillors and teachers in 26 Red Deer elementary schools.


TAB contains a unit devoted to stuttering and other differences for students, teachers and parents. In addition to providing information about stuttering, written exercises and discussion material, the unit can be used as a model for student education about other differences.

Students learn about:

  • Underlying causes of stuttering
  • What stuttering is - myths and truths
  • How to help people who stutter

Teachers and parents learn about:

  • What stuttering is
  • How it develops
  • Strategies that teachers can use to help a child who stutters