Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stuttering - A success story.

I was recently contacted by a gentleman that had suffered deeply with speech difficulties in his youth. He made a very good point. He said that generally one hears about how difficult it is to get over the problems, and systems for living with the issue. In reality we should try to find the cause, and get past it.

His point is very well made. In the article he sent me he tells his inspiring story, and I am very happy to reproduce it here, with his permission. In this case we can't take the credit for helping David overcome his stuttering. However in many cases we do indeed help, and have substantial success in this area. The following story is inspirational and will provide an interesting insight to those unfamiliar with the problem.

November 26/2010

Stuttering is with you all the time. The anxiety it produces is draining

Just like you I know about stuttering. I was a stutterer from age six to seventeen. I found the cause and my life changed.

As a child life was basically no fun. Particularly at school during reading when I was asked to take my turn to read a paragraph.
After stammering and stuttering for two minutes the teacher would thank me and ask me to sit down. What is wrong with me, why don’t my parents take me to a doctor to get healed? I was a shy kid and you would be too if you failed grade three, grade 8 and grade 10 because my head and emotions were so mixed up.

A life changing venture was about to happen, my parents sent me to a school for problem kids for two years to complete my high school education. It was there that caring teachers and a minister counseled students to resolve their problems. In my case I was encouraged to participate in a public speaking contest in front of 100 other students. I believed if I was ever going to beat my stuttering I was going to accept every challenge and open every door to make it happen. My speech was to be five minutes long, I knew If I could get the first word out and memorize the speech
my built up emotional energy would carry through to the judges.
Once my speech was written and memorized, on three occasions I set my alarm for 4:00 AM, went down four flights of stairs to the auditorium, turned the lights on and practiced my delivery. My starting to speak was very difficult so I used a technique to leave the choice of my first word to the last second, it worked. I won the contest which was a confidence builder to continue my goal of being able to speak freely. At the end of my second year I was president of the students council which required me to speak in front of the student body every week.

Every year a gold medal was presented to the “MOST IMPROVED”
Student at graduation; I received it. My life was turning around.

Let’s move forward to a period when I was happily married, twenty four with a young son. We were members of a church that offered counseling. During the counceling session I was hypnotized and regressed to understand and relieve past negative emotional experiences. After several sessions my anxiety level of speaking decreased, my confidence was higher and I no longer had a stuttering problem.

I was now working with IBM servicing machines which were the forerunners of the powerful mainframes we have today. I was hooked on being a better speaker, joined Toastmasters, bought books on making effective presentations and accepted every invitation .to speak at branch office functions. There was a request to send three Canadians to the united States to learn how to help IBM customers by running one or two day seminars at their business location. I did this for many years across Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong and other locations.

Life is so much better without stuttering. I believe my problem started as a young enthusiastic child when I was not allowed to verbally express myself. When I tried to talk at the dinner table I was told not now, later. After experiencing this many times I was afraid to talk and my stuttering started. It was not until I knew the source of the problem, relived the experiences, had catharsis to relieve the energy was I finally free.

Why am I writing this? To make me feel good, no I feel great. I am writing this to give hope to other stutterers that they may not have to live with stuttering. I have found little evidence that stutterers are having this problem fixed. They have had guidance as to minimizing their stuttering or they have felt comfort in associating with other stutterers, but where are the success stories of being able to successfully speak anywhere any time.

One percent of the population stutters. I think too much time has been spent in advising how to live with the problem instead of keeping an open mind to alternative methods to solve the problem.

Bold statements….what do you think?

David Lay