I have had a stutter since I was a child. I can remember times in school where I just couldn’t get the answer out to questions, and times when I just kept quiet out of sheer fear.
I was regularly slagged about it and I just laughed it off, but deep down I was hurting badly. Why could I not do this most simple thing that other people could do?
As life when on I just got used to it. I probably went from being really overt as a child and teenager, to being covert as an adult. When I went on my first course, in Galway in 2014, I realised that I had been using lots of tricks and avoidance techniques.
One of the things I had as a child was that I was a terrible curser. The reason for this is because I was using these curses as filler words in order to get the other words out.
I plodded on through life, holding back in situations, until my children started stuttering. I believe that this is linked to my stutter. Their speech therapist told me about the McGuire Programme, and after a year of holding the number in my wallet, I finally made contact.
When the course finished, on our way home we stopped for a takeaway. As had become habit, my wife was asking me what I wanted, and I said that I would order the food. This was like a county title to me!
I have been on the course since, and regularly attend the support meetings. I also use the phone list, and keep in regular contact with my primary coach.
My life has really changed, for the better, since I joined the McGuire Programme. I now have goals and ambitions that I know can be achieved because of my use of the McGuire technique. My children have also stopped attending speech therapy for their speech, and are mostly fluent.
On my third McGuire intensive course I got to work with some of the new students. I got a lot out of this and felt that I assisted them in improving their lives – sure it can’t get better than that! I decided then that I wanted to become a primary coach. It will help me and, hopefully, help other stutterers like myself.