I was always considered a quiet and shy person. That’s how I was perceived by others and that’s what I convinced myself I was.
I never wanted to take part in social events and the thoughts of meeting new people was a nightmare. How could I introduce myself? What would they think of me when they heard me speak?
During school, I kept my head down and worked hard hoping that teachers wouldn’t ask me to speak in class. Although I loved school I was also terrified that I would be asked to speak in class.
At the end of each class I would be so relieved that I wasn’t asked a question, but this relief would only last a short while till I had to go into another class and the whole cycle would start again.
One teacher suggested I should have Speech Therapy and had organised this for me. During these sessions, the Speech Therapist would ask why I needed speech therapy as my speech was very good. I had become a master of tricks and avoidance.
Having tried numerous ways of trying to ‘cure’ my stammer I eventually got the courage to apply for the McGuire Programme. I did my first course in November 2010 and I quickly learned there was NO CURE for stammering but a way to control it. Control sounded good to me. It was better than what I had.
In 2011 I became a Primary Coach. I no longer need to use all the tricks I had built up just to get through a normal day.
I am no longer that quiet and shy person people thought I was. I have become more confident and I now enjoy meeting new people and taking part in social events.
This has been achieved by working hard and using the backup support that is provided by the McGuire Programme.