Quasim finds success with McGuire Programme

UK Graduate Quasim spent the month of Ramadan co-presenting a current affairs radio programme. He also got an article in hos local paper which is reproduced below.

It is estimated one in 750,000 people in the UK suffer from a stammering problem struggling to get their words out, but techniques can be learnt to improve speech with the help of an intensive speech programme.

Stammering, also referred to as a stutter is an involuntary block in the normal flow of speech which may lead to a series of quick hesitations, the repetition of words, syllables or sounds and in some cases, can be accompanied by blinking, twitching or jaw and body spasms.

For people suffering with a stammer, everyday situations such as answering the telephone may make the stammer worse but there are techniques which can be learnt to improve individuals' speech.

The McGuire Programme is a mutual self-help organisation - run by people who stammer for the benefit of people who stammer - meaning the trainers and instructors understand the difficulty each student faces in learning to overcome their stammer from personal experience.

Twenty-three-year-old Quasim Ishaq from Bexleyheath heard about the McGuire programme in January 2006 from a psychologist at his university who thought he might benefit from it.

Quasim said: "I was fairly reluctant about the programme at first because I didn't know much about it.

"I visited the website and received an email from the regional director advising me to watch a documentary about people with stammers featuring Gareth Gates."

"I was amazed with the improvement of his speech and wanted a similar result so I signed up for a course in Coventry."

The McGuire Programme teaches new ways to breath using the top of the diaphragm known as costal breathing.

Quasim said: "The course was intense and at first I found it quite hard but it takes practice.

"I have to work hard to maintain my speech and each morning I do my breathing exercises."

"I have seen a huge improvement and am now 100 per cent confident."

Quasim's confidence has grown so much he spent the month of Ramadan co-presenting a current affairs radio station to the youths of Greenwich.

He said: "I really enjoyed presenting the show and didn't let my stammer hold me back."