My name is Adam. I’m 33 and I live in Maryland. I’m married with two children and I work with the U.S. Army. I began stuttering around the age of four, and I recall seeing a speech therapist throughout elementary school. My first big memory of stuttering negatively impacting my life was around 7th grade, when I recall speaking to teachers and essentially setting ground rules NOT to call on me during class, due to my impediment. Although I did not stutter on most words, I would block on a decent amount (often nouns, most often proper names, especially my own). The humiliations were painful.
This continued throughout high school, my first job, college, etc. Interestingly, most of my friends did not know me as a stutterer, and I understand that my particular impediment would be classified on the ‘mild’ side of stuttering. However, I can recall many instances, too many to recount here, where my ‘mild’ stutter would lead to extreme anxiety and long-lasting embarrassment. Think of a stranger at a party asking me my name, and me being unable to say it. Or of making a phone call and trying to introduce myself… Or the most dreaded of all for PWS, the round-table meeting, where someone says ‘now let’s go around the room and all introduce ourselves’. I lived, as all PWS do, with great fear of these moments. Although I had (and still do have) an incredibly blessed life, it is impossible to say how many teams / clubs I didn’t join, how many job opportunities I didn’t take, how many fun events I spent worried about how to avoid an embarrassing moment rather than enjoying myself… All due to an admittedly ‘mild’ speech impediment.
About two years ago, I got a new job with the US Army that required lots of phone calls to strangers, round-table meetings, telecoms, etc. It was a great opportunity, but with it came the reality that I could not hide my stutter, and some embarrassing moments ensued.
Last year I found Lee’s book on Amazon, read the reviews, and bought it. I had read stuttering books in the past, but none where anyone said that stuttering could be cured. I asked Lee to Skype, and we soon had our first session. Within a few short months, I recall going with my wife to get take-out food, and I stood and patiently waited for the cashier to ask my name. I calmly waited, then calmly replied, fluently, with my name. A few weeks after that, I introduced myself in front of about 70 people at work. I felt cured!
Unfortunately, stuttering does not die an easy death. I backtracked, anxiety got the best of me and I had some more incidents, but each incident was followed by more victories. Lee continued to give freely of his time, and I continued to practice using crutches, as well as Auto-Suggestions (AS). The AS are a great way to start every day, even for a non-PWS, and they helped me to see things in the right way and focus on what is important (in both life and speech). The crutches provided me with tools that I could use in any situation.
In the past few months, I have traveled for multi-day meetings, had numerous telecoms and been in several situations which previously would have been extremely high-stress, freeze-up and block situations for me. Now, I handle these scenarios with greatly diminishing amounts of stress, and most importantly, I get through them without anyone knowing that I had stuttered my entire life.
There are still situations where I fear things will go bad for me and I will relapse again, but it hasn’t happened, and with my daily improvements, I know I will get to where even this fear will subside.
It seems every day I have another victory, another successful introduction or totally fluent meeting where previously I would stumble. Every day I have more and more positive reinforcements of my newfound speech fluency, and it will only continue to improve. Working with Lee, you begin to learn not just ways to avoid stuttering, but also ways to reduce anxiety, reduce fear, be a better person and ultimately turn stuttering from a curse into life’s greatest blessing, as is the ultimate goal for all PWS.
To all PWS I say that stuttering can be stopped. Fears then slowly die. Get Lee’s book; those methods work, and just this very month, Lee licensed his methods to new company, World Stop Stuttering Association/WSSA (https://worldstopstuttering.org/) that has developed an extensive program to make Lee’s methods even easier to understand and perfect. The big point is that we don’t have to stutter or accept it. We can beat it. I hope that you will beat it too.
ADAM, Maryland, April 2020
If you want to hear/see me speak, go here: https://youtu.be/Ghv4kI3i3Mk.