March Meeting Reminder
It looks like it’s that time of the month again to meet for our Manhattan chapter meeting! Please join us this upcoming Monday to talk about all thing stuttering related.
- DATE: Monday, March 19
- TIME: 7:30–9pm
- LOCATION: 520 Eighth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets – 3rd Floor
Please arrive a little early is possible. There may be a short line to get past security. At the security desk, say you are going to A.R.T./New York on the 3rd floor. (This is the Alliance of Resident Theatres.) For security purposes, you will need to present a photo ID and have your picture taken. Take the left side elevators to get to the 3rd floor. (Also, for anyone who may not have noticed, as soon as you get out of the elevator door, there is a big whiteboard with info of the room that we’ll be in.)
March Social Outing
Mark your calendars for our next social outing on Saturday, March 24! Members Jean and Marvin are helping host an evening at Barcade in Chelsea. Barcade is a combination bar and arcade with a focus on class video games and American craft beer. Come join us from 5-9pm.
- DATE: Saturday, Mach 24
- TIME: 5-9pm
- LOCATION: 148 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
Breaking Free: An Intro to Improv
The NYC NSA chapters are hosting our first improv seminar hosted by our very own Marc Winski! Join us on April Fools, Sunday, April 1 from 3-5pm at the Manhattan chapter venue.
Did your heart just pound a little by reading something that had to do with ‘acting’ or ‘improvisation?’ Have you ever seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? and thought….”Wow, this is hilarious!!”? Come for an afternoon of judgement-free exploration and improvisation. “But Marc, I’m not an actor…” NOT TO WORRY. This is for everyone! This will introduce you to the the freeing benefits of “I don’t give a damn” and the lasting effects it can have on your daily life (including stuttering)!
Come explore, break out of your comfort zone, and have a lot of fun with people who just…well…get it!!
Warning: this may cause exorbitant amounts of laughter!
- DATE: Sunday, April 1
- TIME: 3-5pm
- LOCATION: 520 Eighth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets – 3rd Floor
Thank you to everyone who came out last Wednesday for our February meeting. Despite it not being our regular meeting day (because of President’s Day), we still had an amazing turnout with over 25 people in attendance, including about 8 new comers and plenty of old-timers. After we read opening words and did introductions, we split up into 3 groups of about 8 people each. After the meeting, as per usual, many of us went over to Juniper, our trusty old bar that we go to after every meeting, and talked and stuttered even more. Below is a quick recap of a few things we discussed in our groups.
In one group, people shared that they didn’t like to advertise because they felt it was simply stating the obvious, that there is no point in telling people what they already know. While in another group, members felt that advertising was necessary in order to take ownership of the situation. Despite the different opinions, both groups also brought up that when we tell people we stutter, we are telling them so much more. The way we talk about it also communicates how we feel about it – and by extension how we hope the listener will respond to it. If we act like it’s okay with us, it indicates to the other person that it can be okay with them too. This can lower our own discomfort very effectively, and also theirs. When people respond poorly to advertising, it’s often because they’re picking up that we are ashamed to be advertising or to be stuttering. Usually people react well, and especially so if we feel good about ourselves when we advertise.
Regret and Fear
As people who stutter, we have experienced fear of being held back because of stuttering. And when this fear actually manifests itself, we feel regret. As shared by one group, we can be so afraid of stuttering that we opt out of a class we want to take, speak a second language, and choose specific field to work in. In retrospect, we wish we hadn’t let fear of stuttering hold us back. But when it does hold us back, it is okay too. Because as validated in one group, our experiences of stuttering are very real. There is such a psychology behind growing up and feeling like you don’t have a voice. However, a few things to always remember is that it is never too late and that you are never alone.
One topic that was brought up in every group was the importance of this stuttering community. These friendships inside can help alleviate our shame. When we respect and value other stutters, it can make it easier to respect and value ourselves. In one group, we shared how humbling our first meeting can be. To be around so many people who stutter can help us normalize stuttering in our own lives. From being a better listener to developing lifelong friendships, we can learn so much each other.
Exciting Announcement about our first Women’s Group on March 5th!
Have you ever arrived to a stuttering support group and thought, “Wow, look at all these cool people who stutter. But why are there only five women and nineteen men here?” You’re not out of your mind — the math backs you up! Out of every five adults who stutter, only one is female. On March 5th @7-9pm at ART (Manhattan meeting space) we will host a special group meeting to give women who stutter a restorative space to connect and share with one another. ALL women who stutter are welcome. Feel free to shoot us an email (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
- Monday, March 5 at 7-9pm
- 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor (Room D)
Next Manhattan Meeting
Our next Manhattan meeting will be back on our regular 3rd Monday of the month.
- Monday, March 19 at 7:30-9pm
- 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor
Next Brooklyn Meeting
If you are looking for additional meetings, the Brooklyn chapter meets on the 2nd Monday of every month in downtown Brooklyn.
- Monday, March 12 at 7:30-9pm
- 30 Third Avenue
Getting Involed: We value each member of our community and are always looking for new ways to expand our chapter. If you have an idea that you’d like to share, or would like to get involved, please email us. We’d love to hear from you!
Until next month..
– Manhattan Chapter Leaders
To round out the dynamic year, we had our last meeting of 2017 on Monday December 18th. With over 30 attendees and a handful of new comers, the night was filled with the spirit of resilience.
We reflected on the highs and lows of our stuttering year. Self-compassion seemed to be a common theme. Many of us shared how important it was and always will be to remind ourselves to be more self-forgiving when things don’t go as we hope. As for some New Year’s resolutions, a few members expressed that they would like to practice more patience and be more proactive in recognizing small successes in order to achieve a bigger goal.
As we brace for wintry weather, another group discussed the age-old stuttering superstition of whether we stutter more as the weather gets colder. Whether we believe that we do stutter more or we don’t stutter more, one member flipped the perspective and shared how the colder weather is simply a memento to remind us that with seasons come change. This inspired us to think about what was stagnant in our lives. Whether it is to take a step closer to attaining the dream job or being more positive in mornings, we ended the meeting feeling more connected to one another.
January Meeting Reminder – Monday, January 15
We will be meeting on the 3rd Monday of this month on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please join us to welcome the new year and decompress with all things stuttering!
- Date – Monday, January 15
- Time – 7:30-9pm
- Location & Details – 520 Eighth Ave (between 36th and 37th Streets)
- A.R.T./New York
- Third Floor
- Please arrive a couple minutes earlier with photo ID
Social Outing This Weekend, Saturday, January 13 – Bowling!
One member of our chapter (shout out to Marvin) has graciously planned a stuttering social get together for THIS WEEKEND! Feel free to reach out with questions and stay tuned for details on our Facebook page.
- Date – Saturday, January 13
- Time – 8-11pm
- Location & Details – Gutter Bar LIC
We hope you had the happiest of holidays and we can’t wait to experience 2018 with you! As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Hope to see you all soon!
Manhattan Chapter Leaders
We had a wonderful meeting in September and it’s already time for another!
Come join us this Monday on October 16th as we decompress with old and new friends and talk about all things stuttering related, including International Stuttering Awarness Day coming up on October 22nd. We’ll meet for an hour and a half and afterwards, grab a drink at a bar nearby. We hope to see you there!
• DATE: Monday, October 16th
• TIME: 7:30–9pm
• LOCATION: 520 Eighth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets – 3rd Floor
Please arrive a little early is possible. There may be a short line to get past security. At the security desk, say you are going to A.R.T./New York on the 3rd floor. (This is the Alliance of Resident Theatres.) For security purposes, you will need to present a photo ID and have your picture taken. Take the left side elevators to get to the 3rd floor.
We had an wonderful turnout on Monday night, with 28 people in attendance, including 3 newcomers and many old-timers. We warmed up quickly and got talking about stuttering, the thing most near and dear to our hearts. Thank you Tom Pascal for capturing the highlights of the night and writing this recap. We value your insights, understanding and talent that you bring to our community.
When asked if there was anything on their minds, it didn’t take long for one group’s pensive silence to melt away into a thoughtful, emotive discussion on the nuances of the meanings and effects of self-acceptance in those situations where it might matter, or cost, the most.
One member shared that he was happier and more emotionally free than he could remember, even after suffering the ultimate consequence of prejudice toward PWS in the workplace. Being let go, he has chosen to fight back, and took the opportunity to advertise and educate fearlessly. In doing so, he found a bigger life, and that that he had more friends, both within his former workplace and the larger community, than he’d ever imagined.
Another member spoke eloquently about how his own journey as a PWS will have ultimately made him the best possible father for his son, who is also beginning to stutter.
This was encouraging to another person who had just begun to take stock of the costs of being covert and wondered what moving forward as a proud member of the community will mean for not only his children and marriage, but for his own understanding of who he was. He had always described himself as an introvert, but was this his truth or a story he’d been telling himself? The discussion became peppered with stories of how some found an ebullient personality and visceral, satisfying happiness, brought about by the shared vulnerability we’re all gifted with as people who stutter.
Another group focused on that constant, sometimes deafening static that trickles, and then inundates our headspace as we anticipate a communicative interaction, often drowning out any sense of self-assurance. The conversation quickly pivoted to the professional setting, where this anticipatory anxiety can sometimes manifest itself in a forced vulnerability that many see as the antithesis of competent professionalism. One member, drawing from their experience as an SLP who stutters, wondered what this might look like in a classroom setting where if, when coming to pick up a child for therapy, the SLP stutters in their exchange with the teacher and is met with that oft-parroted, ever-frustrating line “ Did you forget your name?” Some members felt that it would be prudent to address such a lack of professionalism on the part of the teacher after class, so as to spare all involved possible embarrassment and a disruption of the learning process.
Others argued that in fact, there was no more important lesson, both for the teacher, should they wish to think of themselves as a compassionate and learned member of society, and for her young brood, than to know that such comments are in poor taste and that you can, in fact, stand your ground as a professional advocate and a competent adult, stutter or not. Most importantly, this would leave a lasting impression on the child in therapy, at an age where so many impressionable minds look to adults to define the boundaries of what’s possible.
It’s always important to advocate in ways you’re comfortable with. But by addressing such comments then and there, in an educational and assertive manner, you’re able to demonstrate how to win a battle that most children who stutter will find themselves party to countless times in life, the prize being a truly boundless, curious and confident sense of self- not something you could ever hope to recreate in a therapy room. It is by our courage that we will ensure the next generation truly knows no limits.