I had the opportunity to work with a young lady that had, and I do mean had in the past tense, a stuttering issue. This young lady of 14 years old was adopted by a family and really cares for her. After taking her to speech therapist and saying she just had a lazy tongue was her issue. That nothing could be done but repeated speech therapy sessions with the hope that it would go away on its own.
Talking with her father, he wanted to try every possible way to help his new daughter in any way that he could. He began telling me all that they have done to try and help her to overcome the stuttering. I mentioned in a more matter of fact way that that would be easy to fix and overcome. I am guessing that the father was a bit taken off guard as they have spent no telling how much money on speech classes and a speech therapist. I gave him my business card and told him to call me to set up a time to meet.
After about a week I had not heard from him so I called and set up a time to meet with him, his wife and the young girl. The day came and I met at their lovely home. I had asked before hand if it would be ok to meet there, for the simple reason I wanted them to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Also with her being 14, I wanted the parents right there with her to encourage and support her with a safe feeling as well.
We talked about what I do to answer their questions and to put them at ease. I asked numerous questions as well to find out as much about the stuttering tendency. I learned that being bounced from foster home to foster home before being adopted she developed the stutter. I found out what the young girl saw as her future and her past as a line to begin a time line with her. Being left handed her future was to the left and the past was to the right. (I really had to pay attention myself to her line and not put my future/past representation as I talked with her.)
Going back in her past, talking with her asking questions, I found out that one of the foster homes she was in for a period of time. The family was very loud and always seemed to her as they were arguing and yelling at one another. She felt scared and didn’t know what to say when this was happening. Because of this fear she had over the yelling and arguing she started to stutter out of fear and not knowing what she could say. At first they would stop so that they could hear what she was saying, but that turned into ignoring her. She continued to stutter knowing that once before it got them to stop arguing so she could talk to.
Using the time-line I was able to have her go to the time before the stuttering started back before the foster home she was in. To visualize herself talking them seeing it that she spoke clear and without the stutter. I asked her to fly forward to now, and take all that she learned from then till this moment. Then, I brought her to the present time and also with the skills to speak clear and without the stuttering. That she is heard and that she is now in a home full of love and caring for her. I asked her to visualize the present and being able to speak without the stutter. Once she could see that I asked her then to look out into the future and see herself speaking and knowing that the stutter is gone.
I met with her and her parents once more after that to go over it all with her one more time. She did have a stutter episode at school when talking before her class. So working with her again and adding in a boost of confidence for her for the times she will speak in front of others. We went through the time line once again, to add the confidence and to visualize her speaking with pride and confidence. She has now become a little songbird, singing all the time.
She hasn’t stuttered any more and has had a great year in school without kids picking at her over her stutter. She has been singing at church when before she never did at church song services. The family is excited at her transformation into a young lady that is smiling and happy. Her mother stated that she talks all the time now, but it is wonderful to hear her voice. Now she is a little songbird not afraid to sing.