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
These past few months were filled with exciting new initiatives and fun events! We welcomed in fall with some serious stuttering style starting with our ISAD day of awareness, followed by our SAP mock interview and networking event, and our annual speech-language pathologist education meeting. Check out our whirlwind of goodness below.
We had over 30 individual present at our meeting. It was night filled with curiosity, positivity and support. Our conversational topics ranged from what kept us going as children, to the ways we currently give back to our community, to the ‘stages of change’ (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983) we experience as we travel on our stuttering journey. It was a great night that ended with us heading to Juniper bar for some shared drinks and more socialization.
ISAD 2017- International Stuttering Awareness Day
Twenty of us headed to Astoria Park on October 22nd 2017 for a day of awareness and education. We had posters, pamphlets, banners, and lots of spirit and spunk! We got to meet people who never heard about stuttering, others who had friends or family who stuttered, and people who stuttered themselves. We dispelled myths, shared knowledge, and handed out lots of resources. Our highlight was when a teacher shared that he was a person who stuttered and was eager to share stuttering resources with his students when he went to work the next day.
SAP Mock Interview and Networking Event
Our second-ever mock interviewing and networking event was a real hit! Here’s Stavro’s recap of the night:
“Our Manhattan chapter had a stuttering awareness and mock interview event at SAP, one of the largest tech companies in the world, in Lower Manhattan. The group of NSA chapter members and SAP employees started the evening by mingling a bit, and we learned about SAP as a company. Two of us co-leader then facilitated a conversation about communication (along with the COO of the company) and then did some stuttering Q&A and talked about the mission of the NSA.
For the second portion of the evening, we split off for some mock interviews, with mutual feedback exchanged between SAP participants and people who stutter. NSA chapter members who attended enjoyed educating people about stuttering in a professional space (several of the SAP employees expressed knowing very little about stuttering) and SAP employees shared some helpful interviewing tips. It was a constructive night for all participants. We look forward to more similar events in the coming months.”
November SLP Meeting Recap
We continued our tradition we started last year of having a meeting specifically designed for Speech Language-Pathologists (SLP’s) and graduate students who are interested in learning more about stuttering. It was an engaging night of learning and sharing with questions and insights from SLP’s, graduate students and people who stutter. Different perspectives were given on the understanding and experience of voluntary stuttering, the role stuttering support groups play in the lives of people who stutter, and what people who stutter want current and future SLP’s to know. Many SLP’s expressed a desire to better understand stuttering and were so grateful to our chapter for providing the opportunity to learn and grow. A special thank you to Chani Markel who helped co-facilitate the night and kept things running smoothly.
November (regular) Recap
With so much happening in the weeks leading to this meeting, our regular meeting was a breath of fresh air! It was good to unite with our cohesive group and reconnect in our natural setting. The one theme that stood out from the night was the theme of belonging. When one of our chapter leaders shared how she loves being part of our ‘tribe’ the word stuck like glue. We all agreed that there is something so special about our community, our family, or ‘stamily’, and now stuttering tribe! If you are reading this and haven’t joined us yet, this is a personal invitation to come see what it’s all about. Hard to put in words but so easily understood in person-come and join us! You won’t be disappointed.
It’s that time of year again! Join us this Saturday night for our annual holiday celebration. Bring you loved ones and friends. The more the merrier! We’ll be meeting at Juniper Bar 237 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001 at 8:00 pm.
We’ll be meeting on Monday, December 18th at 7:30 pm at our usual time and place
• Please arrive a couple min earlier with photo ID
• 520 Eighth Ave (between 36th and 37th Streets)
• A.R.T./New York
• Third Floor, Studio B
Do you want to help people who stutter and participate in science?
Researchers at NYU and Yale are conducting a joint research project which examines the brains of people who stutter during social interaction. We are seeking adults who stutter for two experiments. Both experiments use functional near-infrared spectroscopy to monitor changes in brain activity during a series of simple tasks (e.g., reading aloud, talking to the researcher). The experiments are safe and non-invasive, and involve wearing a stretchy cap with light emitters and sensors. Experiment 1 will take place at NYU and Experiment 2 will take place at Yale. Both experiments will last approximately 60 minutes.
Participants will be compensated $40 for Experiment 1 and up to $100 for Experiment 2. Additionally, subjects will be reimbursed for train travel to/from Yale University, if applicable. You can participate in one or both experiments.
If you are interested in participating in either study, please contact Dr. Eric S. Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your consideration!
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.
Thirty of us came out to our July meeting – 25 people who stutter, one committed SLP, and 4 awesome SLP students from Chaya’s class who came to observe. Chaya teaches the stuttering course at LIU by the way. And I hear she’s a pro at it. Also, a warm welcome to our good friend Eric Jackson who is back in NYC. Eric co-founded the NSA Brooklyn Chapter, and is a pioneer in the NYC stuttering community.
We started with intros, we then split into 3 smaller groups, and here is some of what we covered:
The phone can really suck at times, especially for interviews because you may be stripped away from the opportunity to make a positive impression with anything other than your speech. This lead the conversation to the benefits of advertising up front, during an interview, over the phone. Usually, people seem to respect you for it, as it builds a human connection. Not advertising during an interview may force you to continue to hide it. It might feel uncomfortable and even ‘unprofessional’ but many members expressed that the outcome is almost always a positive one.
Two stutterers on television: George Springer, a particularly good player on the Houston Astros, who was set up with a live mic while he was playing in the recent Major League Baseball All-Star game. He gave live commentary which was interesting, and stuttered openly. He has been open about stuttering and has received positive feedback both professionally and in the stuttering community about his stuttering. Also Jeff Zeleny, Senior White House Correspondent for CNN, who has discussed his stuttering in the public eye and stutters subtly while on air.
A few of us discussed that we felt that recently on the internet and in the media, we seem to be finding more examples of stuttering being spoken about as something negative, as an indication of dishonesty or stupidity. Some of us mentioned that we worry that people will think we’re stupid when we stutter.
We talked about whether we advertise or make jokes about stuttering at work. Does joking about stuttering, like advertising, help to put people at ease? Does it put us at ease? Someone questioned to what extent advertising really puts other people at ease, saying that he wouldn’t want other people to open up to him and disclose all their personal issues right away.
When people say, “Oh, I used to stutter, but now I don’t”, do those people really understand what stuttering is?
We talked about the high of advertising when first starting a job, and how we may be able to maintain these positive vibes. But what do we do when some of this novelty wears off? This lead to a conversation on why we advertise, and a couple members expressed that the goal for them was simply to better connect with your listener, nothing more nothing less.
Many of us went out for a drink, per usual, at our nearby hang out bar, Juniper. Come join us next time around if you weren’t able to be there. And now, three quick…
Mock Interview Event at Goldman Sachs
We are excited to tell you about the upcoming mock interview event at Goldman Sachs which some of you have heard a little about. George Daquila, a passionate member of the New York City stuttering community, works at Goldman Sachs and is leading their initiative to hire more stutterers. Event is on Friday, August 11, 1:00pm–5:30pm, and you can click here for more details
Get your tickets today and join us as we take Stuttering out to the Yankee Game. On Sunday, August 13th at 8:05 pm. An email will be sent out shortly about tailgating for this event. See you then! – Nina
Brooklyn and Manhattan meetings are at their regular meeting times this month. Click here for more info for Brooklyn meeting. They’re a good group. One of the best, actually. We love them. Every one of them.
The intense rain and flash flood warnings didn’t keep 16 determined folks from coming to our meeting on Monday night. We had a fair share of wet socks, squeaky sneakers and messy hair, which made for good jokes and lots of laughter. We split into 3 groups for connecting conversation and heartfelt talk. Here’s a glimpse into some of our conversations:
A Safe Place
One person shared how he appreciates the safe space the NSA meetings provide because it gives him opportunities to share his innermost thoughts and feelings about stuttering. This opened a conversation about why people come back month after month despite doing well at work, socially and otherwise. Most agreed it is refreshing to come to a place where others “get it”; a place where they feel free to be themselves, vent frustrations, share struggles and celebrate victories. We talked about how we always feel replenished when leaving the meeting and how it’s a highlight of our month.
Stuttering, Minorities and Disabilities
The topic of kinship and relating to minority populations and individuals with disabilities had the room abuzz with conversation. One member said he felt a deep connection to people who are deaf since they too struggle with communication. Another member shared how stuttering opened his connection to minority populations, whom he now represents at work. Members expressed gratitude for having opportunities to connect with wonderful people they otherwise would not relate to, if not for their stutter.
“ Does stuttering shape one’s personality?” This question arose when someone shared how he struggles to be assertive and believes it is because of his stutter. Some members shared this sentiment while others said stuttering pushed them to become more assertive, bold, and even daring. However, even those who felt empowered by their stuttering agreed that stuttering strongly impacts one’s personality and can shape them for better or worse.
Stuttering and Relationships
We talked about how stuttering and relationships can be tricky. Some people shared that their friends and families didn’t understand them and put them in uncomfortable positions (i.e. handing them the phone to talk.) Others shared that, although not innate to understanding the struggle, their spouses or close friends put in an effort to empathize and understand them. This led to a great conversation about communication, intentionality and the willingness to be vulnerable. It reminded us of how letting our loved one’s know how to respond to our stuttering can prove to be incredibly helpful and liberating.
Keeping it Simple
We talked about the complexities of stuttering and ways to keep it simple. Complexities included stuttering being something we cannot hide, stuttering being an isolating experience, and being misunderstood by people who don’t know what stuttering is. Things like transparency, not taking things personally, and choosing to educate people about stuttering were discussed as ways to simplify these complexities. This led to several members sharing how when they took the opportunity to share with others about their stuttering, it often turned out to be a positive experience for all parties involved.
Join us for our next meeting this Monday, July 17th from 7:30-9:00 at A.R.T./New York, Third floor, Studio B. Because of the location policy, please arrive a couple minutes early with a photo I.D.
We hope to see you there!
Hello NYC Crew,
On Monday May 22nd, we met for our May meeting, and per usual we had some interesting conversations. It was the second meeting out our new location at 520 Eighth Avenue, and it looks like we’ll be meeting here going forward. 25 people of us came out, with two first timers – welcome Chris and Jaymie. We split up into three groups, and here are some topics that people brought up:
1. Stuttering is hard and we know it, but what are some of the positive things?
Our vulnerability and authenticity give us the ability to connect and empathize with others.
– We become resilient and relentless in the things we pursue.
– We can break down communication and pick up on social cues.
– Because stuttering is so isolated in the world, when we come together it brings about a feeling of connectedness like no other.
2. What causes stuttering? Habit? Genetics?
– One member asked how we all started stuttering. He believes that he was imitating his neighbor’s stutter and eventually “caught” stuttering.
– Hector seemed to debunk this and went on about stuttering research and the enigma of genetics.
3. Speech therapy and why we go to speech therapy?
– We had one member really interested in speech therapy, so we went around the room sharing our experiences with it and what it meant to us.
– Many of us seemed to agree that speech therapy provided support in our lives and can add to a sense of relief when going through a rough patch of stuttering.
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘cool, these are some pretty good topics.’ You may also be thinking to yourself, ‘why am I getting this recap almost a month after the meeting?’ That’s a really good question, and we don’t have a really good answer, but we’ll get it out to you a bit sooner next time around, we promise
NYC Stutters Conference
But it has been a busy month for many of us here on the volunteer front. Almost a week after the NSA Manhattan May meeting, we had our second annual NYC Stutters Conference: A One Day Conference By and For People Who Stutter. It was a special day for our community here in NYC, and we had an amazing turn out of over 70 adults who stutter. Coming together made many of us realize how important it is for people who stutter to come together, and ask some of the significant questions about who we are.
On a similar note, 8 hours of coming together are not enough, so let’s have some social outings! And other events that you may be interested in. Please reach out with your ideas, or better yet, go to our fairly new Facebook Group here, and start the conversation.
A little reminder that we will be meeting this upcoming Monday. We’ll talk about our most recent NYC Stutters conference, the warmer summer weather, and anything that’s on your mind! We hope you can make it!
• Date: Monday, June 19th
• Time: 7:30–9pm
• Location: 520 Eighth Avenue, between 36th and 37th Streets
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. On the 3rd floor, follow the signs to Studio B.
Social Outing today: Friday, June 16th
This is a bit last minute, but our friends at AIS will be having an outing this evening and you are invited. They will be meeting at the Rubin Museum of Art for Happy Hour (google search “rubin museum happy hour”) at 6pm. Address: 150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011 Also, they will be doing an Escape the Room activity nearby after that, and there are still a few spots open, so reach out to Noura @ email@example.com if you’re interested ASAP! This will be a lot of fun, so if you don’t have any plans at this time, go!