I was always considered a quiet and shy person. That’s how I was perceived by others and that’s what I convinced myself I was.

I never wanted to take part in social events and the thoughts of meeting new people was a nightmare. How could I introduce myself? What would they think of me when they heard me speak?
During school I kept my head down and worked hard hoping that teachers wouldn’t ask me to speak in class. Although I loved school I was also terrified that I would be asked to speak in class. At the end of each class I would be so relieved that I wasn’t asked a question, but this relief would only last a short while till I had to go into another class and the whole cycle would start again. One teacher suggested I should have Speech Therapy and had organised this for me. During these sessions the Speech Therapist would ask why I needed speech therapy as my speech was very good. I had become a master of tricks and avoidance.

Having tried numerous ways of trying to ‘cure’ my stammer I eventually got the courage to apply for the McGuire Programme. I did my first course in November 2010 and I quickly learned there was NO CURE for stammering but a way to control it. Control sounded good to me. It was better than I what I had.

In 2011 I became a Primary Coach. I no longer need to use all the tricks I had built up just to get through a normal day. I am no longer that quiet and shy person people thought I was. I have become more confident and I now enjoy meeting new people and taking part in social events. This has been achieved by working hard and using the back up support that is provided by the McGuire Programme.

Sharon Gavillet