An Open Thank You Letter to My Speech Therapists

Dear Ms. Carol, Ms. Joan, Victoria, Hope, Amelia, and Taylor,

First off, thank you for all of the work you do not only for myself, but for others. The work you do on a day in and day out basis is more impactful than you know.   

To my elementary school speech therapists, thank you for helping me go from a 5-year-old kid who could barely say the letter "r” without stuttering to someone who fluently delivered the keynote speech at my 5th grade D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony. Thank you for being me with and incorporating my hobbies and interest, from The Weather Channel to The Dumb Bunnies, into our speech therapy sessions. Thank you for the constant encouragement and helping me become more fluent as the years passed. Thank you for compassionately listening to the troubles of a third grader. Thank you for erasing my fears that I was different from all the other kids in school.

To my college speech therapists, thank you for helping me become more fluent via the techniques I learned or re-learned from you. Thank you for being a soundboard when I needed to vent about whatever was on my mind that day. Thank you for allowing me to set my goals and doing anything and everything within your power to help me accomplish those goals. Thank you for conducting our speech therapy sessions on the phone and making me call random places and ask them a series of questions. 

I am now far more comfortable talking on the phone because of it. You helped me achieve those goals by conducting numerous mock interviews with me, as a means of preparing for life after graduation. I am a better at interviews because of it. Thank you for making me do so many presentations to the walls of the speech therapy room, to empty classrooms, and to your classes. I am now confident in my public speaking abilities and willingly put myself into public speaking opportunities, something I never would have done if it wasn’t for you. But more importantly, thank you for helping me become more confident and accepting of my stutter.

Thank you for introducing me to different stuttering organizations, I would not know about them if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for being a sound board and listening to me as I struggled to grapple, understand, and accept the fact that I stutter. Thank you for helping me process all of thoughts about stuttering and helping me turn them into positives. If it weren’t for the work done in the therapy room, I don’t know if I would be able to accept and embrace my stutter.

Forever appreciative,

James

Posted July 5, 2017