A young hairdresser who stammers wants more people to understand what life is like living with a speech impediment.
Jessie Stride, 22, has made a light-hearted film with Fixers entitled Stammering: What Not To Say explaining how it feels to live with the condition.
She is calling for people to be patient with those who stammer and allow more time to prevent them from feeling pressured when trying to express themselves.
‘I have watched many videos about stammering which are quite serious,’ explained Jessie, from Hull. ‘I know it’s a serious topic but I wanted to make a video to help people understand what a stammer is without being scared off.’
‘There are days when I really struggle, it’s not helpful when people rush us or finish off our sentences. I am lucky to have friends and work colleagues who are really supportive.
‘I got into a habit of trying to hide it. When I was at school it was always me on my own but I became more open about my stammer as I got older. I realised it wasn’t just me.’
At 17 Jessie attended a speech course led by The McGuire Programme. The organisation aims to work with people who stutter on their speech behaviours, identifying and teaching the mechanics and dynamics of speaking.
Jessie explained: ‘The McGuire Programme helped me because everyone around me had stammers. It was great to be around successful people with stammers, I found it really encouraging.
‘I had to try and accept the fact I had a stammer. They taught me to be open and honest about it.’
Jessie wants young people to understand the physical and psychological implications of living with a speech impediment.
‘I want people to understand how difficult life is, it’s not just about the stammer but everything else as well,’ Jessie added. ‘It consumes you and can be physically painful when trying to get your words out.
‘When I was younger I was the only person I knew who stammered, and I felt on my own, I felt like I wasn’t understood.
‘Some people think I stammer because I am nervous or I‘ve forgotten what I was saying. People need to realise that our mind works the same as theirs but we can’t speak as well as they can.’
Jessie hopes to share her resource with different organisations and schools to ensure young people with stammers feel supported.
‘I don’t want others to feel as alone as I once was,’ Jessie added.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.