Parents Can Resolve Preschool Stuttering
It is alarming what you can find on the internet concerning stuttering. I was one of those moms who spent my boy's naptime searching for the answer to our prayers. Why was Ty stuttering? What could I do to help?
I found everything from ignoring the problem for a few years (and I thought, a few years?) To really focusing in on his "problem" and trying to get him to slow down, think before he speaks etc.
My son is four years old. My husband and I are both educators. Because of our backgrounds in the classroom, we knew exactly what would happen to our son if we let this go and it didn=t turn out to be a phase. . . . being ostracized, made fun of. . ultimately breaking his heart and causing all sorts of unnecessary psychological trauma. I was already getting "the look" from other parents at his school and on the playground. Anytime older kids would be around I would completely ignore anything else other than the conversation Ty would try to have with these kids. I would say a silent prayer that THIS WOULDN'T BE THE KID TO BREAK HIS HEART. When Ty really started to struggle with words it was difficult to bear. It got to the point that I wanted to leave the situation completely if it meant protecting my precious first born son. Before we took Ty to see Tim, he had been stuttering for over six months.
Our first step was to try therapy through our local public school system. There I was told that Ty would probably never be completely fluent. That the problem would take years to solve. That it was very likely not to be solved at all. I was given a video and was told it "would make me cry" and told that my son was "severe" according to their testing instruments. This is the worst form of stuttering.
We were devastated. I asked my bible study to lift us up in prayer as I cried and prayed and wrestled with my emotions. How could this be? What would his life be like never being able to fluently communicate and being teased and left out? Why was this happening to my son, so beautiful, so bright, with a heart that just brings you to your knees?
In the mist of all of this emotional turmoil I was led to Tim Mackesey's Website. I was moved by the testimonies of other families he had helped. I was impressed that Tim himself had suffered with stuttering and had cared enough to specialize in fluency. I prayed that a miracle would happen between Tim, Ty and us.
I called Tim and told him our story. He was sympathetic and so encouraging. He told me Ty would be able to conquer his "bumpy" words (code for stuttering) and he felt that it could happen before the beginning of the new school year. (I called him in June).
I was elated and determined to make this work. I was told that both my husband and myself needed to be present at the sessions in order to learn the techniques and strategies. We were committed to this.
We saw improvement in Ty from the first week of therapy. And then it became a part of his behavior. He actually smoothed his bumps and fixed his words on a consistent basis within one month of beginning therapy! We were elated. And furthermore, we were touched that Tim told us we needed to "fire" him. While many professionals may have had us continue just to receive payment, Tim did not. He is a great speech pathologist and an honest man.
In the end, on July 7th, when Tim told me that Ty was fluent and that we no longer needed to come to therapy, I cried. I told him the emotional roller coaster had taken its toll, that I had envisioned time and again what life would be like for him had he stuttered for his lifetime. I thanked him for being who he is. So great with children, so good at teaching his techniques, so honest in his business practices. He was a blessing to our family.
My younger son stutters sometimes, and there is Ty, forever the teacher, gently using the techniques he has learned from us to help him, and I realize how incredibly blessed we have been. And I know that we can help Daniel too if we need to, because we are now armed with the techniques and knowledge that we need.
Tim has a way and a gift that you don't come across often in today's world. My family will be eternally grateful. If you are reading this right now I urge you to make the call that could change your child's life. I don't mean to be dramatic, but it's that serious. The world is hard enough without being ostracized for something that could have been helped. As educators my husband and I wish that every person could know that this therapy is available and almost always successful. The key is doing it now rather than later.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story and please feel free to contact me if you need to. Tim has my phone number and email address.