Elliot Cantwell
Elliot Cantwell
Cork, Ireland

First Course:
Galway, November 2011

We all have memories of stammering in sensitive situations. My first memory was when I was 10 years old in school and couldn't speak when asked to read.

It took me another 10 years to do something about my stammer…….Joining the McGuire programme was the best decision I've ever made!I used to wonder how easy life would be without a stammer. Everyday I'd think to myself, why me?, Why can't I just speak like a normal person?...etc. The best thing about The McGuire Programme, in my opinion, is that it allows you to accept yourself for who you truly are. As stammerers, we're always looking to hide and watch the world pass us by. It's an awful feeling and one that I experienced during my teen years. My first attempt at tackling my stutter was going to see speech therapist. This is a significant moment in my life. It was the first time I acknowledged that my stutter was a problem and the feeling of relief I had after my first therapy session was euphoric. However, I didn't see any particular improvement in my speech after several sessions with the speech therapist. About a year later, my mother suggested The McGuire Programme to me and I hesitantly decided to go to a course. Why? I wanted to find a cure for stammering of course. However, I found something much more meaningful and inspiring. It's a joy to be a member of a community of such inspirational people and having comfort in knowing that other people do stammer. I don't hide my stammer anymore, I embrace it.