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Stuttering 101


    Stuttering is a very complex part of my life and for millions of others, that we try to deal with everyday. I will go into depth about my particular case of stuttering and what treatments I have taken to date.

    When I was younger, I suffered from epileptic seizures. From what I can remember, and what my parents have told me, I have had seizures since birth. Obviously I wouldn't remember from that point in my life. My parents took me to my family doctor and he prescribed me a particular drug called Phenobarbital. I'm not sure as to what dosage I was prescribed. After a while, these pills were having little to no effect for my seizures. So my parents took me to see the doctor again, and he prescribed me a higher dosage of this same medication. After a while, the same effect happened. So my parents once again, took me to my family doctor and he prescribed me a drug called Dilan. Once again, I'm not sure the dosage but the exact same thing happen as with the Phenobarbital. The seizures would decrease as I was taking these drugs. The only seizure I can vividly remember was at the Ames near my parents place. I believe I was around the age of 5-6. My mom had to go buy something inside so I told her I would stay inside and watch a kid play video games. The next thing I know, I was on the floor flopping around like a fish out of water. Next thing I know, I was surrounded by people and medics. The medics did whatever job they did and that was it. When my parents brought me to see my family doctor once again, he told my parents that they should take me to a specialist that specializes in brain waves(cat scans).  He suggested a guy in Montreal called Dr. Henderman.  He was in the Children's Memorial Hospital. This guy was really cool. He took my brain waves and what not. After the tests, he told my parents and myself that nothing was wrong. We were all relieved. Ever since that time, I haven't had a seizure. So approximately 15-18 years since I have had one. *knocking on wood*.  

    Your thinking, what does that have to do with stuttering?? Well, people have said, that the stuttering is a side-effect from these drugs. I really don't know. But what I do know is that stuttering is very challenging. One day I can talk normally, and the next day I can't talk at all. So it consistently keeps me as well as the millions of others that have stuttering, on our toes.  By all means, I am no expert at stuttering and what causes it. I'm just telling what I have learned/read from articles and other sources. From what I can remember, I have stuttered all my life. In my early years, I went to see a speech therapist in elementary school from grades 2-6. This was a request by my parents. They thought maybe this will work. It would of helped me if the lady was more educated on stuttering. She was just trying some things out and see if it'll work. She was educated as a teacher and not as a speech language pathologist. When I graduated from elementary school, I did not continue seeing a speech therapist in school. I didn't want my classmates to think I was stupid or whatever. The typical kid's stuff they think of. 

    As I grew older, my stuttering got worse and worse. My parents suggested that I go see a speech therapist in Syracuse. I agreed and went. I really didn't like the atmosphere it was taken place. Essentially, I was a guinea pig for this persons students. To observe a typical speaking situation and record it.  The room that my parents and myself were in was really weird.  It was a good sized room with high ceilings. I would say a 12 foot ceiling.  Anyways, I could see there was 2-way glass up above us. That was where the therapist and her two students went to write notes and what not. The therapist was talking down on me as if I were a kid. I really didn't like that one bit. A few years later, my technology teacher, Mr. Cheney, talked with my educational counselor and they wanted me to see the speech therapist in school. If I took part in this, they will provide me with a summer job at a company in Pulaski. So I agreed. It really didn't have any affect on me one bit. At least this teacher somewhat knew about stuttering and she seemed to be helping me out. Well surprise, it didn't help one bit. After a few months of seeing her, it just stopped. She gave me a book on stuttering and I really didn't read it. I guess I wasn't ready to learn about stuttering yet. 

    When I graduated from high school, I was accepted at SUNY Morrisville. Surprisingly at college, I didn't have any problems speaking. I had my moments as everyone has, but over all they were very easy as far as speaking goes. I attended there for 3 years and graduated with my Associates in Applied Science and majored in Design & Drafting Technology. I am very proud of that. In fact, it is hanging in my bedroom as we speak. After that, my speech went downhill very fast. I was beginning to have more and more bad days and less and less good days. As you can imagine, I was getting very frustrated. My parents had read in the newspaper that sometimes, hypnotherapy helps people who stutter. So we looked in the phone book and found a hypnotherapist and scheduled a time.  I will spare you the details but it was worthless. A total waste of my money. In the meantime, my stuttering was getting worse. I was getting tired of limiting myself to a very small vocabulary list. My moms friend suggested a therapist. I e-mailed him too schedule a time to get together and talk about what stuttering is and too see if he can help me out. I think all therapists out there say they can help you out. In fact, he has helped me out immensely.  It has been 3 months I have been seeing him and everybody around me has noticed a huge change in my speech. The stuff we have been practicing is cancellation, era(easy relaxed approach) and we are currently working on suto-stuttering. I will explain what everyone of those things is. Cancellation is when I would stutter on a word, I would pause, take a breath and pronounce every single letter in that word in a relaxed state. Whenever I do that, it prepares me for more fluency. ERA, is when I would break up a sentence into clusters and then prolong the first few syllables in the first word of ever cluster. 

Created by: Speedracer

Last updated: 05/28/01 18:48