Life with a stammer is all Lloyd Cottrell can remember.
It developed when he was just six-years-old but he was worked hard to control it and speak with confidence.
Lloyd has teamed up with Fixers to make a film about his speech impediment and hopes to inspire other young people with stammers.
‘I have grown in so many ways,’ said Lloyd, 20, from Newport.
‘I have challenged myself, become more confident and pushed myself out of my comfort zone every single day.’
Stammering is a common speech problem in childhood, which can persist into adulthood. No one knows what causes it and its severity varies from person to person.
When Lloyd developed his stammer he was still in primary school. He remembers the transition to high school being particularly difficult as he tried to make new friends but struggled with the simplest of conversations.
At the age of 13 he enrolled on a speech recovery course, and this was a huge turning point in Lloyd’s life. It taught him the techniques he needed to control his stammer.
He uses these every day in what he describes as an exhausting battle with his speech.
‘I can now speak with control if I use my techniques,’ he said.
‘The most challenging aspect of the course is self-acceptance; to not hide it but to show my stammer to the world.
‘To anyone else who struggles with a stammer I want to say ‘You can do it – do not give up.’
Lloyd, who is studying Music at Cardiff University, also has a message for people who know someone with a stammer. ‘Give us time, we can do it,’ he said.
‘But please do not rush us, interrupt us or finish our sentences.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.