I’ve considered myself to be a stammerer for 10 years. I remember when I first noticed myself stammering at about 11 years old and immediately attaching negative connotations to it. I thought that it was my special problem. It was just beginning.
My name is Jonathan. I’m 21 and in college in Wisconsin. I am a native of Great Britain.
I also remember the first time my mother told me to ‘speak properly’ and the first time a school peer made fun of my stammer. These experiences confirmed my previous assumption that there was something wrong with me and my speech – something to be embarrassed about. When your elders and your peers start correcting your speech you know you have a problem.
These thoughts have plagued my mind ever since. My reality followed my thoughts and I became a situational stammerer. My speech anxiety grew with time as I became more painfully aware of any speech imperfections. It seemed to be spinning out of control and there seemed to be no hope for help.
It wasn’t until reading Lee’s book 5 months ago that I began to seriously doubt these judgements and feel able to overcome not only stammering itself but my faulty perception of my speech.
I have found Lee’s crutches so helpful because I feel more equipped to handle difficult words. in situations which made me nervous. My favourite crutch is speaking expressively because it reminds me that speech is not performance, it’s expression.
The main issue left is the performance anxiety which is not only about saying the words right but also about choosing the right words. Autosuggestions and reading aloud have proven effective in restoring my confidence in my own voice.
Finally, regular skyping with Lee has been really helpful for accountability and steady progress. After skyping with Lee about 10 times, I no longer have serious stammer threats. I’m continuing to do autosuggestions and reading aloud in order to overcome that pesky anxiety. It’s dying too; it just takes time. If you want to hear me speak, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIAra9lo4mU&t=7s.
What I want to say to other stutterers is this: Lee’s book and methods work. If you don’t try them, you’re missing a huge bet. Then, Skype with Lee or one of the other SAA coaches, as it helps to hear others explain and illustrate the methods. I’m so grateful that I did this. My life has improved and I’m a much happier person.
Jonathan, Wyoming-UK, May 2019