Reflections regarding children who stutter: Teasing & Bullying YouTube video

Teasing & Bullying

The draft version of the video is available at the link above.

Below is the next-to-final version of the video, from which – based on much appreciated feedback from Arun Khanna of the Canadian Stuttering Association – I have removed the lengthy introduction about my own encounters with stuttering treatment. The video works better without the lengthy introduction.

The almost final version of the video is available below:

In the final version – which you can find by searching at Google for “Jaan Pill YouTube” or at my next post – I have corrected a caption so it reads PREVNet in place of the incorrectly spelled version (PrevNET) that I had used earlier. I’ve also trimmed the title by about one second, as it appeared to be staying on the screen just a bit longer than would make good sense.

A text accompanies the YouTube video explaining the story behind it. Below is a version of the text, to which I have added additional notes:

This 20-minute video has been prepared for a workshop about Bullying & Teasing for presentation at the Canadian Stuttering Association virtual conference on Nov. 6-8, 2020.

The video highlights a valuable resource about bullying: PREVNet

PREVNet  stands for: Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network.


Jaan Pill, who narrates the video, is a retired schoolteacher who stuttered severely (especially during childhood and adolescence) before he got effective treatment at the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) in Edmonton in 1987.

After the ISTAR clinic he worked with other people who stutter to found the Stuttering Association of Toronto (SAT) in 1988. He found it hard at first to adjust to the fact that he could now speak fluently before large audiences. To make the adjustment easier, he decided to compare notes about such matters with other people who stutter. His fluent friends (understandably, never having encountered such a situation) could see no reason why he would find such an adjustment a big issue.

That’s why he launched the Stuttering Association of Toronto, at which speaking time was shared equally among members, and which ensured that every member (who wished to) could take turns leading two meetings in a row. For several years, the group met every two weeks at Hart House at the University of Toronto.

Jaan was subsequently involved in the launch of the Canadian Stuttering Association in 1991, the Estonian Stuttering Association in 1993, and the International Stuttering Association in 1995. He was also involved in international networking in the early 1990s on behalf of the International Fluency Association.

In all such work, Jaan has emphasized the value of creating a culture of leadership succession (and a corresponding organizational structure), to ensure the long-term viability of national and international associations serving people who stutter.

He has also championed the provision of an impartial forum for sharing of information about stuttering – with the proviso that scams and scammers who claim to have a ‘quick cure’ for stuttering are not provided a platform to tout their wares.

In practical terms this means, for example, that the Canadian Stuttering Association doesn’t advocate for one or another treatment program, and its membership includes people who have no interest in treatment of any kind.

After fifteen years of volunteer work on behalf of people who stutter, Jaan has in subsequent years focused more on volunteer projects related to local history and land use decision making in Ontario. He is also writing a book about the life and legacy of Einer Boberg of Alberta, co-founder in 1986 with Deborah Kully, of the ISTAR clinic.

Einer Boberg dropped out of high school because of teasing about his severe stutter. Eventually, however, after working at the family farm in the Danish community of Dalum, Alberta, he went back to school. After finishing high school at a Scandinavian Lutheran boarding school, Camrose Lutheran College, Einer studied music at St. Olaf College, a private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota.

He embarked upon further studies in Vienna (where he met his future wife, Julia), intending to pursue a career as a violinist but decided, as a result of events related to his speech — including the challenge of speaking at his wedding ceremony in London — to switch careers.

Einer Boberg earned a PhD in speech-language pathology from the University of Minnesota in 1968. In the early 1970s, he began work (along with Deborah Kully, who was at that time herself just starting out on her own career) leading to launch of a stuttering treatment clinic in Edmonton.

You can reach Jaan Pill via his Preserved Stories website or at the following email. If you have any stories of interest that you’d like to share about Einer Boberg, Jaan would be most pleased to hear from you at

His Twitter handle is @jaanpill

Additional videos — about local history and about stuttering — can be accessed at Jaan Pill Vimeo


Additional notes

Below are links to additional videos at Jaan Pill’s Vimeo channel:

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