Hi everyone. My name is Amer. I’m 29 and I am from Bosnia. My stuttering started at the age of 7, first upon elementary school. I don’t recall concrete event that triggered my stuttering, but I surely remember all the frustrations and hard times that I went through. On first days in high school we introduced ourselves to teachers and colleges. I stumbled hard on my name. Laughfter was all over the place! High school and college were definitely most difficult periods in my life regarding speaking challenges. One technique then came as a saver – avoidance. However, in long term it made more damage than good. Avoiding every presentation, phone call and not speaking when I feel fear had detrimental effect on my self confidence. I was in a locked circle.
My stutter was always more situational. I never stuttered when alone, almost never when with family and friends, but a lot when talking in group setting or under pressure or when I have to say something exact and specific. I always thought stuttering will gradually disappear after graduating and finding job. But it didn’t, so 3 years ago I decided it is time to do something. My activities since then include reading books to understand my stutter, enrolling in online groups to learn from other PWS, doing various self help techniques. Some things I did include NLP (neuro linguistic programming), meditation, joga, breathing exercises and many more. I also had therapies over Skype, both speech and psychological, along with joining stutter hangouts and starting Facebook group for PWS in my region. I am also member of Toastmasters club. All of this helped to decrease stutter, but not in the level I wanted.
I heard about Lee and his approach. I immediately enrolled, got his book and found it really interesting and extremely helpful. We started Skyping in May. Since then, my program includes autosuggestions 2 times per day (after wake up time and before bed time) and reading aloud while practicing crutches for 30 minutes (or more) per day. After 3-4 weeks I saw major progress. It continued without relapses. Now, I speak with much more ease, flow and clarity – and no bad incidents (where I appear speech disabled) in the last 2 months. No more heart pounding when I order in caffe. Fear has almost completely disappeared. It still comes in some situations, but then I treat myself with autosuggestions and I know I can avoid threatened stutters. There are still small stumbles in form of pause or hesitation but I don’t appear disabled. These stumbles usually do not come as a result of fear, but just happen. My speech is much better than anytime since I started stuttering. It would be unfair to say my previous therapies and things I done were miss. I think it is more accumulated effect. All those things came in place after working with Lee. His approach was lot more useful than anything else that I ever did. Most helpful thing for me were his autosuggestions. I feel lot more energetic and relaxed immediately after doing them. I love the crutches too. My favourite crutch is number 4 – putting sound, syllable or word in front of the feared word. However, I don’t need to use crutches so often anymore in speaking, but sole fact that I know them is huge self confidence booster, since it gives you 12 stutter killers to kill any block! Skype sessions with Lee are golden because they motivate me to stay on track and helps to understand and practice crutches even better. Lee is a role model and his success in overcoming stuttering also gives a hope and faith that we can do it.
Although I have not had any appearance of speech disability for over two months, and though I do feel that I can beat back any threatened stutter, there is still way to go for me to remove all negative speech thoughts. So, I still do autosuggestions, reading aloud and Skyping with Lee. After I got feedback in Toastmasters and hangouts that my speech improved, I still want to do more. Next goal is to eliminate occasional small stumbles/pauses and, especially, to speak more interesting, using vocal variety and voice modulation. I want say thank you to Lee and Speech Anxiety Anonymous for helping me become one of their “Success Stories” and for all they do at no charge for PWS all over the world. I urge PWS to get Lee’s book and get into the program. There is no need to keep stuttering, as all of SAA’s Success Stories have proved.
Amer, Bosnia, August 2018