Jodriann regularly attends our weekly teen therapy group. He agreed to share with our blog by answering a few questions about being a teen who stutters. Jodriann is no stranger to the AIS Blog. In 2009, he gave a speech at the AIS gala and was kind enough to share his feelings about the speech both before and after the event. In 2010, he talked about how he and the other kids in an AIS therapy group were keeping track of their speech skills.
In general, what is it like to be a teenager who stutters?
I’ve been going to speech classes ever since I was 8 years old. Now that am 16 years old and in high school, I’ve experienced and learned a lot about my stuttering. Even though I stutter, I still deal with normal teenage problems. Like talking to new people, girls, and teachers. I used to be a really shy person. I wanted to talk, but I was always afraid of stuttering. I used to make my friends talk for me. Back then, I didn’t really mind it, but now I want to be more independent and speak for myself.
What have you learned about managing your stuttering?
I’ve gained a lot of confidence after learning new tools/techniques from AIS. One of the first tools I felt really comfortable using was called, “freeze and fix it.” It helped me to feel more comfortable talking to people knowing I could control my stuttering. I used to have really bad blocks and now with this technique my blocks are more controlled even in tight situations. Soon I learned “pull-outs” my favorite of all tools because it sounds natural and is easy to use. With this tool I’ve learned to talk to new people and I’m more confident that I can control my stuttering. I felt really happy using pull outs.
Tell me more about your confidence with speaking.
I’ve gained so much confidence that I can talk to girls and teachers with confidence and am not as shy or scared anymore. As a teenager who stutters, life can be difficult, it will be a challenge. But there are no challenges that are impossible. And I am living proof that it can be done. All thanks to the techniques and tools I’ve learned here at AIS.