Martina Ross is my name and I have stammered for as long as I can remember. School was a nightmare for me especially when it came to reading out loud. I would be sitting in my seat and waiting for my turn and feeling sick because I knew that I would not be able to do it. This happened every day of my life, it wasn’t just a once off. No one ever asked me what was wrong and in those days (1950’s) stammering was never really spoken about. My life went on in that way all the way through school up until I left school and had to get a job. The job I really wanted was to be a Sports Instructor but with a stammer that was never going to be possible for me, so I got a job in Dunnes Stores in Donaghmede where there was a new store opening. My personality got me through the interview. Being in a large company I knew I could hide my stammer a bit easier and it worked. No one knew.
I loved my job and I worked in the Ladies Fashion Department. I was so good at my job that I was asked to go to Head Office. No chance!!! It would mean that I would have to make phone calls and go to meetings. I had to decline. Life went on….and on….. Stammering ruled my life.
In 2004 I decided enough was enough and I looked up ways to help me and I saw that I could do hypnotherapy that would work. No luck. I then went to speech therapy and that didn’t work for me either. I got on the internet and did a bit of research and up popped the McGuire Programme. Not sure about that I thought!!!.
Anyhow I downloaded the form and kept it. Never filled it in.
Life went on…. One evening I was watching Family Fortunes Celebrities version and Gareth Gates was on speaking very well .Hmm… he has a stammer, I thought how is he not stammering anymore? I got on to his website and found out that he had been on the McGuire Programme, That changed everything!! I rooted out that form and filled it in.
The best thing since sliced bread!!
I did my first course in November 2010 and it has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
The programme is run over 3 days and it is very intense, but with a lot of hard work and dedication you will be amazed at how your speech improves.
I always had a problem saying my name and by the 2nd day I could stand up and say my name confidently and for a person with a stammer that is a great achievement.
As I said earlier stammering ruled my life, but not anymore. I have done readings at Mass,
been on the radio, (talking about the programme) and done newspaper articles, things I could only have dreamt about doing.
I could not do all this on my own without the support of other people on the programme and that is why I think the programme is so successful. You have lifetime support from other people who have been through the same stress as you have, and that is why I am now a coach on this wonderful programme.