US Regional Director Maria McGrath speaks to Blog Talk radio about her journey with stuttering and how she has got to where she is today.
While growing up, I would often get in trouble for negative behavior in school; behavior that I would use to deflect attention from my stutter. At first I was the bully; my thinking being, if people were afraid of me, they would not laugh at me.
Later, I became a class clown; this time thinking if they laugh with me, at least they would not be laughing at me.
Later in life, the personal and professional aspects of my life became affected.
I have stuttered since I was about 5 years old. Back then and pretty much until I started on the McGuire program, stuttering was connected to a tremendous deal of confusion, anxiety, shame, and just generally the opposite of well-being. I don't think a lot of people around me even knew that I stuttered, or even less what it meant to me to stutter.
I am referring to the typical response I had to deal with for all of my childhood when I spoke in class or around other students. I was plagued by a debilitating stutter. Most of the time I dealt with it by being the quiet kid in class, and I was almost held back a grade because “quiet” was confused with “slow learner”.