Our biggest group yet with 11 folks tonight!
We had a couple of new faces (including a UVM faculty member doing genetics research) and a visit from and old friend who returned from a 9 month stint with AmeriCorps. He mentioned that it was challenging to meet so many new people, but he found himself being better able to react to any negative listener reactions with self-confidence. He noted that an interview he had since coming back home was a good example of a tough listener as his interviewer kept cutting him off and finishing his sentences for him.
That led to a great discussion about the benefits of self-advertising and how odd it is that as soon as you announce you stutter, the stuttering goes away. If you try to hide it, it tends to interfere even more.
One member had just attended that ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) conference in Florida, and he said it was liberating to let his stutters rip that whole trip. He met a bunch of other people who stutter and said it was such a comfortable environment that it was freeing to stutter openly without risk of judgment.
On the heels of Thanksgiving, we talked about what we are thankful for in terms of stuttering: it led to a successful running career, has allowed them to meet amazing people, gives an empathetic understanding of people with communication difficulties or disabilities, and pushes them outside their comfort zones as a motivational tool.
We watched this clip about the Alan Turing movie in which Benedict Cumberbatch’s character has a stutter (about 4 mins. in): http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ra9yqn/benedict-cumberbatch
We might try to find a time for everyone to get together and see the movie as a posse!
Looking forward to group on the 16th– see you then!