Welcome to YouSpeak. My name is Sara MacIntyre, and I am the founder and director of YouSpeak, an organization focused on providing person-centered therapy to individuals who stutter of all ages.
As I too am a person who stutters, I understand the pervasive impact stuttering can have on a person’s life firsthand—an impact that can extend far beyond the physical moments and permeate into countless other aspects of life. Not only can stuttering impact our overall sense of self, our outlook on life, the potential to be who we want to be, and to do what we want to do, but it can also affect the everyday tasks that people take for granted—ordering a coffee, reading aloud in class, introducing yourself, or picking up the phone.
Growing up, I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and frustrated—not only with my stuttering, but also with trying to find something that would reliably help. For many years, I chose to hide my stuttering at all cost until that burden felt too consuming and paralyzing. At that point, I was lucky enough to find a community of speech therapists and people who stutter who truly “got it,” and who were able to inspire me. They guided me through a process of change for which I am forever grateful. Not only was stuttering’s physical burden eased, but the emotional and real-life constraints lessened, and I was able to find much more than my voice. I was able to find myself.
Driven by these positive changes and inspired to help others through their own journeys, I left a job in investment consulting to pursue a career as a speech-language therapist. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with my Master’s degree, I spent the last four years working exclusively with people who stutter at the American Institute for Stuttering in NYC. In addition to working clinically, I also continue to teach as an adjunct professor at NYU and serve as the One-Day Conference Director for FRIENDS: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter, a national support organization.
In creating YouSpeak, I envisioned a space where individuals who stutter could feel supported, empowered, hopeful, and confident in their voices. YouSpeak is a place where, together, we can focus on improving communicative ease and effectiveness, while also discovering what may be possible when we no longer feel so restricted by the fear, discomfort, and shame of stuttering. Ultimately, let’s commit to a journey of saying what we want to say, when we want to say it, doing what we want to do, when we want to do it, and discovering who we really are along the way.