At the end of every AIS intensive stuttering therapy program, we have Friends and Family Day, where clients invite their friends and family to watch them give a speech. It’s the highlight of every intensive program here, when the clients face their fears and embrace the freedom to speak.
The August intensive program had their Friends and Family Day last week, and we are happy to report that we can share some of the speeches. Here is Mike Delgado’s speech, entitled A Free Man.
A Free Man
My name is Mike Delgado. I am a proud stutterer working on my speech, please be patient as I use my techniques.
Three weeks ago I walked in to this very room feeling excited and a bit frightful. I was flooded with waves of emotions and expectations. I knew that the next 3 weeks would be challenging yet essential in overcoming the obstacles I have been facing my entire life. On the first day, a group of 8 strangers sat in a circle and began a journey that we could only imagine. In the days that followed, I found myself gaining confidence. Day by day, I felt a change taking place. A change from deep within. As the weeks passed, I learned to face stuttering head on and accept it for what it is. Stuttering is a small part of who I am and it does not define me. I have always viewed stuttering as a curse. The ruler of my world, my life. I slowly realized I’m the master of my own world. I control every aspect of it. I used to live in a world where stuttering commanded my life, but now the world has changed. The light has been shined on my faults and finally I can honestly say “I am free from its bond and I’m in the driver seat”.
I can not begin to explain how it feels to be set free. Free from a prison of fear and shame. I have longed for this day for the last 25 years. The day has come. I feel comfortable in my own skin and accepted by all. I stand before you all as a man who has been released from his shackles. A man who has dared to dream and achieved. A man who has faced his fears and triumphed. A man who challenged his speech and has freed his voice. I am a free man.