I experienced it for the first time at the end of my pre-school years. I was very confused; I didn’t know what was happening. Waking up and randomly not being able to correctly speak really scared me. I waited a couple of days hoping I could get control of myself again. I finally told my parents something was wrong with me. They said I had developed a speech impediment called stuttering.
I thought the world had ended for me. Bullies began to pick on me, and my friends would imitate me or make jokes and laugh. I would go home after school, go to my room, and cry just about everyday. One day I met this kid named Nick who had a speech impediment as well, except he didn’t stutter. For some reason he couldn’t sound out his “H’s” properly. Later my twin brother, Michael, picked up a speech impediment. He had trouble saying his “R’s” and “S’s”. It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone with a speech problem. But Michael soon overcame this.
So then I realized that there are many people out in the world with speech impediments. I took speech sessions all the way up to 8th grade. I slowly improved. I quit those sessions because I knew it was up to me to stop stuttering. I have not gone to one speech session in all my high school years and I have improved greatly. I still get made fun of for stuttering and people joke, but I don’t let them get to me as much anymore. I’m used to being made fun of. I can’t say that I am happy that I stutter, but I also can’t say that I am upset about it. The only reasons why I am happy for having this impediment is because I now have a challenge to try and conquer everyday. Not a lot of people stutter, and it’s kind of cool that I get to experience it. I’m currently the only student in the school that stutters. Every time someone laughs when I speak, it only encourages me to overcome this impediment. And I am laughed at everyday.
I believe that people with speech impediments should be helped and not mocked. From personal experience the more you are teased, the lower your self-confidence goes down. Nobody in this world is perfect. For a lot of people out there, talking fluently and correctly is difficult. I’m talking about all speech impediments, not just stuttering. There are days where I stutter a lot, but I have learned to control my speech most of the time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.