People Thought It Was Strange That I Was Going Into a Communications Field as a Stutterer

I’ve struggled with stuttering since I was young. Over the years, I tried a variety of approaches to overcome my speech impediment, including a home-treatment course designed to promote fluency. While nothing helped my stuttering, I focused on my education and career aspirations to become a writer.

When I decided to go to graduate school and study journalism, people thought it was strange that I was going into a communications field as a stutterer. Even though I had difficulty conducting phone interviews, I successfully completed graduate school and landed a position as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

On the job, I noticed my stuttering was getting worse – especially when I was doing face-to-face interviews. It was obvious I was making people uncomfortable when I interviewed them. That’s when I realized I needed to take serious action to address my speech.

I researched different therapy programs and read about broadcast journalist John Stossel’s successful experience with HCRI. That’s what ultimately led me to attend the Hollins program.

After two-weeks of intensive therapy, I spoke beautifully. A few months later, I realized I needed to keep practicing the techniques I learned to maintain fluency. I started a practice group for stutterers that still meets regularly.

My work as a journalist continued to progress. On a daily basis, I comfortably interview people I’ve never met, have overcome my need for verbal cues, and speak fluently. I’m now working towards becoming an editor and extending my communication skills to supervise others.

Sean Adkins
York Daily Reporter