My name is Amber, and I am the mother of Fiora, age 9. We live in Newfoundland. Fiona began stuttering many of her words a year or two ago. She stuttered mainly middle words. Her stuttering was different than most. She broke her words in the middle, “ki-iten”, “doh-og”, “pa-arty”, etc.
Despite my daughter’s young age, she actually read most of Coach Lee’s stuttering book (the Third Edition), as did I. Incredibly, Fiora actually absorbed a good bit of Coach Lee’s main points. He couldn’t believe how much of his book she was able to recall. So, just from reading the book, Fiora eliminated 80% of her stuttering.
Then, we began Skyping with Coach Lee. He approached it in a very light hearted way. He made Fiora and me laugh a lot (even using funny masks sometimes), as he explained better ways to avoid the problem. For Fiora, the biggest keys were to slow down her talking and talk in short increments of words. It took time, but, in the several months, she has basically stopped breaking her words and appearing speech disabled. On occasion, she still breaks a few, but I take Coach Lee’s advice, and I give her agreed hand signals: one means slow down and the other means stop talking. My hand signals don’t irritate Fiora, and that’s important. I help keep her on track but don’t offend her. If you’d like to hear and see her speak, go here:
In our sessions with Coach Lee, Fiora and Coach Lee took turns reading aloud, mostly poetry aimed at youngsters. The “game” was to see who read most expressively, most entertainingly. This taught Fiora the importance of talking with as much feeling as possible, which makes one think about the message and not about the words, and concentrating on talking expressively eliminates thinking-fearing-forcing words. Plus Fiora had such fun reading aloud to Coach Lee. He also urged her to read aloud to her younger siblings (ages 7, 6, 4 and 2), and she has done some of that too.
We do think that the rest of Coach Lee’s program is very helpful too, including learning to love to speak, not just to speak, in all situations. So, we hope to keep Skyping and working on that. Most of all, I encourage other parents to do this program. It is holistic in that it stresses the importance of doing one’s best and of being as loving as we can be and of dictating our thoughts about many things. So, it accomplishes much more than just stopping stuttering!
We simply cannot recommend Coach Lee’s book and the World Stop Stuttering Association program highly enough. It has enabled Fiora to defeat a humiliating problem while improving herself in many ways.
Amber (mom) for Fiora (9), March 2022