I started stuttering when I was in pre-primary school and had to contend with this issue ever since.
My first memory of my stutter was me sitting in front of a speech therapist at the age of around 6. When I become conscious of this problem is when it started becoming worst. High school it really started to flare out of control and out of sheer embarrassment, shame and not wanting to be seen as incompetent (in my mind) I did my best to hide my stutter. For many people, did not know I had a stutter unless they were with me in a highly stressful situation where it would also become evident. However, in the day to day socialising, I was not seen so much to have a stutter but rather extreme social awkwardness and poor use of grammar and basic English from such extreme word substitution. It really crippled me, my perspective on myself, my beliefs in what I could do and after school seriously dictated my career options and confidence in finding work.
At the age of 20, I found the McGuire Programme which completely changed all of above. I am still not fluent, but am confident and have been praised as a great communicator. From a speaking perspective I have had many personal milestones. I successfully engaged in a sales pressured job for many years which led me become a partner in the business. I have joined Toastmasters and won a few Best Speaker accolades. I have done several media interviews including live radio speaking about stuttering and raising awareness on the topic.
My perspective on stuttering has radically changed. I am very grateful for what McGuire has done for me, that is why I have remained active for all of these years and keep giving back, passing on the knowledge and skill sets that have been taught to me to manage my stutter. It is a wonderful thing to give hope and then belief to a new person joining McGuire. To watch them go through that transformation that I and every other committed McGuire has gone through.