Hello! My name is Clay, I’m 24 years old and I live in the state of Texas, USA. Just like the majority of the PWS out there, I’ve been stuttering for as long as I can remember. This curse has been always part of my life, although it has been very situational, so, depending on who I speak to or the situation, my speech would be somewhere between “horrible” and “not that bad”. But in any case, it mainly consisted on speech blocks.
My family tried to help me overcome this problem, and they took me to speech therapy. I tried traditional speech therapy and phonation interval training. Unfortunately, these things didn’t help me achieve my goal: speak like everyone else. I’ve always believed my therapists were looking for the solution in the wrong place. A lot of the exercises and things that they taught me didn’t make much sense. They seemed to be based on the (wrong) belief that stuttering happens because there is something wrong in the way we speak, breathe, or both. They were close to where the problem and the solution are, but not close enough though. Now I know that the problem is simply between our ears (and therefore, so is the solution).
Anyway, going back to my story, the years passed, and I tried to live my life as good as I could, like the rest of us. I finished studying and started working in a digital advertising company. And what a coincidence, one day I stumbled upon a Google Ad about a company named World Stop Stuttering Association. This immediately caught my attention, because it said that it could help me stop stuttering! So, I decided to go to this website and see if what they were offering was true or not. I went through the entire website, and the more I read and the more videos I watched, the more I believed that what they were saying was true: that you can stop stuttering!
I started watching videos of Lee Lovett and other coaches (all of them ex-stutterers) helping people who stutter, from all ages and from all over the world: for example, a +70 year old man from the USA, a girl from Italy, another one from Japan, a teenager from the Middle East, a lawyer from Scotland, even kids, and the list goes on. And the way the coaches explained and understood stuttering… I’ve never heard someone explain it so clearly before. If all those people have stopped stuttering, there is no reason why I couldn’t do the same. That’s why I signed in and immediately started studying Lee Lovett’s “Stuttering & Anxiety Self-Cures”.
Once I read around half that book I decided it was time to request some coaching (I couldn’t wait to finish the book). I was assigned to coach Javier, a guy from Spain (I had started learning Spanish, so it was a great opportunity to practice speaking in this language too). A couple of days later we had our first coaching session, and he explained to me their goals for me: stop stuttering, get rid of the residual speech anxiety, get to the point in which I love to speak in all venues, and, once I have achieved these 2 goals, admit that stuttering was actually a blessing thanks to all the valuable tools I’ve learnt and that are improving my life more than I could imagine. I loved it! He also explained to me very clearly the steps I had to follow in order to achieve these goals. We met again one week later. I told him that I had a few bad incidents in which I appeared speech disabled. He explained to me what I had to do to avoid this from happening again. I learnt the lesson, because that was the last time I’ve appeared speech impaired. 4 weeks later Javier, my coach, told me that if I’ve been able to avoid having these bad incidents for 4 weeks, that means that I know our methods well enough to avoid any future bad incidents, and that from now on I could consider myself a Person Who Stopped Stuttering (PWSS).
Anybody who has been able to avoid appearing speech disabled for a month has learned enough ways to avoid it to enable them to avoid it for a lifetime. But of course this doesn’t mean that I have completed the program. I still have to win the war against the residual stuttering fears and speech anxiety, which is what I’m currently working on. And I’ve gone this far in a bit more than a month! I never thought I could have done this so fast.
At this moment I know that I will never again have any stutters or blocks that will make my speech sound as disabled. And that’s a huge relief, but I still have speech anxiety, and fears and stutter threats. This is my next war: the war against speech anxiety, and I know I am going to win this war too.
Even some of my friends and family members have complimented my speech!! How amazing is that?
So, if you also struggle with your speech like I did, the best advice I could give you is to do as I did. WSSA is a support community of PWS and PWSS. Work on stop stuttering, and make it your #1 goal. Work on it diligently every single day until you beat it. It might take you some weeks, or even months, but it will be worth the effort. You will stop worrying about your speech 24/7, like I used to. There is no need to continue struggling with our speech!
Clay, Texas, July 2021