HIGH POINT, N.C. — Ben Kordsmeier, 20, is in school studying nursing and expects to have to say many diagnoses and prescriptions medicines that would be tough for anyone to pronounce, but could be especially so for him. He’s a lifelong stutterer.
“My mom could tell as soon as I started talking, she couldn’t understand me. I was always just exhausted at the end of the say and sometimes angry, because it was hard to get my words out and hard for people to understand me,” said Kordsmeier. “You could always feel it coming, just a constant pressure feeling, an every day thing.”
These days, even in what could be considered to be a pretty high-pressure television interview, you’d be hard pressed to know Kordsmeier stutters at all.
He’s working with a new device called SpeechEasy, a new therapy that’s being called a “game changer” for people who stutter.
“With traditional therapy, they had to think so much about every single thing that came out of their mouth, their words, their breath, how they sound. It took all the joy out of speaking and was very limiting. I think most people have no idea how impactful stuttering can be for people socially, emotionally, even in the vocation they choose,” said Maria Lucente, a speech language pathologist in High Point. “This SpeechEasy has changed the lives for so many of my patients.”
SpeechEasy was created by researchers at East Carolina University and is covered by some insurance companies, but not all.