A thirty year old Carrick-on -Suir woman who has had to battle from a young age with a stutter impediment has appealed to people having to cope with the same problem to seek help.
Shelly Ryan has made huge strides in overcoming her challenges by getting up the courage to enrol in the McGuire Programme last year after backing out of it for years.
“This is a programme run by people who stutter to help other people who stutter. Doing this programme has certainly given me a new outlook on life and my confidence is growing, I am no longer holding back and letting my fear stop me from achieving my goals, and for the first time in a long time I am looking forward to the future.
“From a very young age I could feel great shame and embarrassment.
“For as long as I can remember it has always been there, this thing which I could not understand made me feel so different to everyone else, in school was my most difficult times as the teachers would ask me to read aloud which for anyone else this wouldn’t seem like a big deal.
“I remember always trying to think of ways to get out of it, like pretending I needed the bathroom or that I wasn’t well”, says Shelly.,
“My friends were great though and always wanted to help,” she said.
Her speech effected her so much that when it came to leaving secondary school it forced her to consider opting for a career that did not involve speaking.
“All my friends were all talking about what they would like to do in college and what jobs we would like for the future. I remember thinking to myself I would love to do anything that doesn’t evolve speaking” she said.
Shelly said she finally decided to just go for it and applied to do childcare in WCFE in Waterford as she loved children and always wanted to work with them.
“It wasn’t until I finished college that I discovered just how hard getting a job as a person sometimes challenged by stuttering really was. I had numerous job interviews, each one more difficult than the last as every time I got a knock back it just made the next one so much harder” she said.
Shelly was out of college eight years and had never managed to get a job. She did manage to finally get a job in the Sugradh creche and is very grateful to Denise and Trish for giving her the opportunity.
Contact number for the McGuire Programme: 086-3429602