I’m P-Pa-prrr- Prathusha… Well, that’s how I started my Skype session with Lee Lovett. Earlier, I had done quite a few speech therapies that did not work. The obvious reasons for not working is the speech therapist himself because he was a NORMAL SPEAKER (Non-PWS) and I don’t blame him for not empathizing with me because he just couldn’t understand the labyrinth neural network and synaptic brain function of a PWS (theories and practical’s always have their own differences right?). In contrast, Lee exemplified the virtue of being an ex-PWS and was completely flamboyant in the way he spoke which was more believable and authentic. I trusted him with all my heart because he had lived through Satan stuttering himself. Years of strenuous research and hard work on finding solutions to stuttering led Lee to formulate the “13 crutches”, which I call an “Elixir of PWS”. So, that’s how I was introduced to the crutches!
I used them every time I spoke. It didn’t matter whether I was confident in my speech or not, I kept using them. Whenever I had to initiate a talk during a group discussion, I would still experience a crumple in the lungs and stiffness on my shoulder and jaw area. This happens especially when the economy of air time is paramount 😉 but I easily evaded from the threat by using any one of the 13 crutches. Thus, my fear to initiate tamed because I always knew that if I experienced a threat I could use any one of the 13 crutches to evade the threat or fear. The crutch was a tool to evade stutter.
The more I used the crutches, the more I fell in love with them. From using them only when I anticipated a threat to using them all the time (24 X 7) whenever I spoke, it became my style of speaking! To my surprise people around me enjoyed the way I spoke because it was filled with passion, body language, voice modulation, extreme pronunciation, etc., sometimes these crutches delighted me because I myself didn’t know which crutch I would use and suddenly I had a lot of options (13 crutches) which made my mind busy in choosing the crutches rather than the words. I used to enjoy the King/Queen’s speech because it is a crutch that involves 6 elements at one go and it was more dramatic which made me an actor as well. So, the crutches blended with my blood and bones that I completely forgot how I spoke earlier (before meeting Lee), “The crutches became the way of speaking”. Now I’m in a stage where I’m not able to classify my speech as “with crutch” or “without crutch” because I really don’t remember the way I spoke when I was a PWS – period.
I vociferously believe that making crutches as your speaking style will definitely lead you to the road of fluency, wherein the end of this road will be the beginning of another fantastic journey of “loving to speak”.