Man with a stammer shares how coronavirus face masks are making life harder

William Laven, 22, has had a stammer his whole life – but he says the pandemic has made it harder to live with.

William, who’s just finished an apprenticeship in public relations, tells that his parents first knew ‘something wasn’t right’ when his first words came a lot later than other children his age.

Medical professionals said they didn’t think William’s speech would ‘ever develop to be fully fluent’, and so he was taught certain sign language.

‘They then realised that I was starting to speak normally, however I didn’t have a full fluent vocabulary until I was seven,’ William says.

For 10 years, William went to speech therapy every single week. Over this time, his stammer has ‘got better’, but he doesn’t think it will ever go away.

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He explains: ‘When I was younger my stammer was very severe to the point where I nearly struggled on every word. Since having speech therapy, that has improved my stammer hugely as I have been given different techniques to use when I do stammer – but also as I am now older it is not as bad.

‘Everyone who stammers has it completely different, I know that I only stammer on certain letters such as H’s & A’s.

‘If you met me 10 years ago and met me today you wouldn’t think I am the same person because of how different my stammer is.

‘No matter how fluent I am, I am still very conscious about it and it is always on my mind.’

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