I am Dasha. I’m 19 and a University student. I live in Belarus. Russian is my first language. I began stuttering at age 3. While I could be fairly fluent with friends, I sometimes couldn’t talk to strangers, authorities, on the phone especially, and of course make any kind of presentation. I had speech therapies as a kid, but they didn’t help much. My stuttering got worse over the years and reached about 80% of my words. It was always the worst in class. Sometimes, I couldn’t even start speaking; I just froze in silence. It was incredibly humiliating.
I saw one of Coach Lee’s videos on YouTube and got his book. I have read many books on stuttering but none like his. It was easy to understand and to relate to. It had clear steps to take. I followed his instructions carefully. I read aloud constantly, did the daily auto suggestions and memorized the Crutches and began using them. It helped a great deal, but I couldn’t quite get the crutches. Sometimes they saved me but sometimes I had to go silent.
I then emailed Coach Lee and we began Skyping about three months ago. We’ve probably Skyped about six times. The coaching has helped me use the Crutches better. At this point I’ve used most of the Crutches at times, but my favorites have been whispering, word linkage, dropping the first letter or syllable and being enthusiastic and also inserting lots of full stops, which helps keep me calm.
I haven’t appeared to be speech disabled in over a month and my whole attitude about speaking and even about my life has changed. I now believe that I really can teach myself to love to speak and adopt daily mind-training as a way to improve my life. Coach Lee has been so kind and helped me so much. I’ll never be able to thank him.
I have joined World Stop Stuttering Association (https://worldstopstuttering.org/) now, and love the video courses. They are so helpful and they are entertaining. I’m also taking advantage of the blogs, forum, SpeechMasters Club and other services. As best I know, it’s the world’s only community run by ex-stutterers. It’s great to be able to talk with others who stopped stuttering. This is a life saving community for stutterers.
I’m thrilled to be able to say that I know how to avoid stutterers now and that I haven’t had a bad incident in over a month. Best of all, I used to worry about my speech all the time but I now I almost never do, like less than 5 minutes an hour. Now I’m going to continue working on my speech until I can say that I love to speak anywhere anytime. I believe that I will be able to do it. I’m not scared at all of speaking in class anymore. It’s hard to believe, but I just don’t think about words anymore. Kind of a miracle, but it’s true. Use Coach Lee’s methods and you will beat it too. If you join WSSA, as you should, you can find lots of vidoes of my coaching sessions and others. Here’s my latest one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTcATIALZME.
DASHA, Belarus, June 2020
P.S. Nine months after posting my above story, my speech continues to get better. I have had no bad speech incidents. I even do presentations in class easily. This was a HUGE problem for me. I am working on loving to speak. I still enjoy reading aloud and I will be doing daily mind-training before bed forever and ever. I once stuttered 80% of my words but now none. You can hear me talk in today’s (March 2021) Skype (https://youtu.be/AlScK55dbWk)