Straight From the Heart: Mario Tamer
Mario Tamer is a 17 year old who attends speech therapy because he stutters. Since attending Circle Creek Therapy, he has made incredible improvements in his confidence, and he is learning how to accept his stutter.
Read more about his experience at Circle Creek Therapy below!
1. Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
"I am a full-time college student at Green River Community College. As of now I’m working towards obtaining my Associates Degree, and I’m thinking about going into the medical field in the future. I like spending time with friends and family, and I like weightlifting and working out."
"My stutter consists of blocks. Blocks are a disruption of speech at any given moment. I’m unable to produce sounds quickly, and there are silent pauses as I’m trying to get the word out. My blocks don’t happen only when I’m nervous or when I’m meeting new people. I will stutter in front of family members as much as I would in front of meeting new people. Every day is different for me. My pauses can be short or long. Sometimes I’ll be unable to get out the words, and my pauses can last up to like 10 seconds!"
2. What kinds of things do you work on during speech therapy?
"In speech therapy, we work on many different techniques of speaking, and different ways to build my confidence. They teach me ways that I can speak without being nervous, and ways to have smooth speech. Sometimes we would play board games, or even read a book out-loud. As much as I hate reading, I still did it because I knew that reading would improve my speech and it is good for me anyway."
3. How have you maintained your goals outside of the clinic?
"Maintaining my goals has always been a hard thing to do, but I know it’s possible to do so I don’t just give up. My goals are to have high confidence, to have less pauses in between my speech, and to not say the words “Uh” or “Um”. One big thing that I’ve learned is that if I want to maintain my goals, I just have to speak no matter what. This could involve me going up to strangers and talking to them and asking how their day was. I still try to talk to people because I found out that not talking all the time won’t get me anywhere, and talking to more people will give me more confidence."
4. What are some big takeaways that you have learned from your speech therapists at Circle Creek Therapy?
"Some of the big takeaways that I’ve learned have been really helpful and they have changed my life completely. I’m so thankful for Circle Creek Therapy. One big thing that I learned gradually over time is accepting the fact that I stutter. Before, I would just always be disappointed in myself. I kept asking, “Why do I have this speech problem?”, and “Why me?”. Now I just except the fact that I have a speech impediment. I’ve learned to always take a deep breath in before I start speaking, and then right as I’m about to start speaking, I start to speak on the exhale. Don’t get me wrong, using this technique didn’t solve all my problems and it didn’t make my speech impediment go away. I still struggle everyday trying to get the words out even using this technique, but using this technique has tremendously helped me."
5. Do you have any advice for others who stutter?
"Stop caring about other people’s opinions they have about you. When you have a speech impediment like me, you are constantly thinking about how people are going to react to your speech. Sometimes people will make weird faces at me when they see me trying to get a word out. I used to care so much about what other people would think about me and that would just ruin me. It would make me disappointed in myself and make me worry about every little thing. I realized that I was worrying about the wrong thing and that I’m wasting my time. In short, you should never let your speech hold you back in life."
"Another thing to keep in consideration is that you should never think negatively all the time. Also, you have to believe in yourself. You have to tell yourself that you can do it, even when it seems like you can’t. You have to forgive your hard days. The only way you will get better is if you try, and get back up again."
If you would like to learn more about Circle Creek Therapy's services, call us at 253.237.3405. We are always here to answer your questions.