My story

Richard LutmanRichard Lutman

For about as long as I can remember I have been a person that stutters. As a young boy my parents thought nothing of my stutter. They thought that, if anything, it would be something I would outgrow with time. When I entered school, my teachers right away identified that I had a stutter, and it was recommended that I take speech therapy, which I did, at the young age of five.

I recall as a child taking therapy for the first time, and being put through numerous speech exercises. After approximately two years, there was little if any improvement. At this time my parents decided to cease any further speech therapy, until I was older and could better able to work through my speaking difficulties. Being identified as a stutterer sometimes led my teachers to question if other developmental delays were at play, such as Attention Deficient Disorder, (ADD). My parents believed that it was merely my stuttering that made it difficult for me to communicate.  As a result of my stutter this separated me from my peer group, and I endured numerous act of bullying throughout my young life.

At the age of 14, after not attending speech therapy for almost 6 years, I decided I wanted to address my stutter once and for all. That summer I did just that with the assistance of my parents. At the time speech therapy was not covered by OHIP, my parents ended up paying for my speech therapy at a rate of $120 per session which I attended twice a week for 9 weeks, until my parents could get the school board to cover the costs of speech therapy. When I started taking therapy I could only say two words with out stuttering, and after 5 years of intense speech therapy I can now say more than 120 words without stuttering. I owe my success to the awesome speech therapist that guided me through this journey, and to my parents who would not take no for an answer when the odds were against me. Being a stutterer is what has shaped my path in life, shaped who I am, and as I continue on my journey I am always reminded of where my journey began.