My message: go for it

The article's author, Stefan Biernat

13th June 2019

Stefan Biernat talks about things on his mind, as well as his dream job.

My name is Stefan, I'm 17 and I have had a stammer since I was four. When I want to speak I just want to say the word, but I get stuck on it. I stop and pause, and then I say the word again. At times, I can move onto the next word, but other times I can’t. Sometimes I lengthen words. It’s easier when I know what to say and it’s harder when I am excited about something or when I feel rushed or pressured to speak. Talking in a group of people when I don’t know them is harder than talking to someone one-to-one. 

I try to help myself by stopping and breathing through the words, but I still sometimes stammer, which makes me a bit stressed, upset, angry and frustrated. It would make me feel nervous if people do not know I have a stammer. However, I wouldn’t feel confident telling them, unless I knew them or if I only had to tell one person. 


In September 2018 I started going to an Ofsted outstanding college of further and higher education in Weston-super-Mare. I am on a course called Extension Studies, which prepares students for higher-level study, employment and independent living. I enjoy college and have had a positive experience. 

I have made some good friends at college; they know I have a stammer and they give me time to speak.

Since starting there, I feel that my stammer has improved. I think this is because I am getting more help than I did at school and because the tutors give me time to speak. I have received positive feedback from numerous tutors and have been described as ‘a popular member of the football team’. At secondary school, I didn’t talk as much because of my stammer but I talk more at college - the classes are smaller, which is a nicer environment. I like working in groups at college, but I prefer hands-on, practical tasks rather than writing and talking. 

I see the college’s Speech and Language Therapist once a week to help me with my stammer and the strategies are useful. I’ll try to use them on my next course. 

Friendships and relationships

I sometimes worry that people who don’t know me will take the mick when I stammer. But I am not worried about socialising. I have made some good friends at college; they know I have a stammer and they give me time to speak. I don’t talk as much but I would like to socialise more because outside of college my friends live far away. However, I do feel that I would be able to call them on the phone to have a chat. 

Dating is going to be a bit harder than friendships because I will not know the person that well at first. 

The future

In the future, I would like to be a mechanic and my dream job would be working in a Ferrari garage. I have secured a place on the Level 1 Motor Vehicle course at my college’s centre for technology, construction and engineering, starting in September. It will probably be a bit harder because it’s a new course and I will be meeting new people, but I will not let that stop me. 

I am not worried about applying for higher education or work and I would feel comfortable disclosing on my application that I have a stammer. However, the interview stage will probably be a bit stressful because I might get stuck on the words. 

My key message to other people who stammer is: ‘You can get the job that you want, even if you stammer. Go for it!’ My key message to the public is: ‘Give me time to speak.’