We had nine people in attendance. It was Catherine’s second meeting and she brought a friend of hers, Lourdes, an SLP that works with her. Matthew and Ekoue also came for the first time ever to an NSA meeting. We had a total of three newcomers, the most we’ve seen in a while! We also had five other regulars including myself.
After the Welcoming words and introductions we talked about what drove each of us to come to our first NSA meeting. Matthew just found out about our group and decided that he wanted to come right away. Ekoue is a student at LaSalle and sought out faculty in the speech department. That’s how he met Mitch and learned about our group. For me, it was a speech therapist I was seeing at the time that told me about the NSA. At first I had misgivings about going to a meeting, but then I thought I had nothing to lose and decided to come to a meeting, and I was hooked.
Catherine and Lourdes are speech language pathologists that work with kids. They talked about how kids don’t realize that stuttering is wrong or is something to be embarrassed about unless someone tells them that it is. Having a clinician that stutters is a good thing. It servers as a role model they can look up to as someone successful that is comfortable with his/her stutter. It can also be fun to do assignments together, such as going out together and stutter openly or trying different techniques.
We talked about doing presentations and how each of us deals with them. For me, I have to rehearse the content to get very comfortable with it so that when I give the presentation it comes naturally. For Marissa is the opposite, she doesn’t focus on the words and needs to be more free form.
Towards the end of the meeting we had an “open mic” session. Alan, Jim and I walked up to the lectern and talked for three of four minutes about a topic. Alan told his “naked nun” story (you’ll have to ask him to tell it to you, it’s really funny) about how stuttering can get you into funny and unexpected situations. Jim talked about his strategy of anticipating success. He recalls successful experiences from the past and tries to bring up that feeling, similar to what an actor would do. He changes the person he is when he talks and becomes the version of Jim that doesn’t stutter. He is very good about delivering lines. He thinks about what he is going to say and then delivers the line.
Mitch is working with La Salle University to have one of our bi-monthly meetings held at La Salle. There is a lot of interest from several students and we think that the change of venue and day of the week (Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Thursday) might bring in other people. Stay tuned to find out more details about upcoming meetings!
It was great having that many people at the meeting and I hope that this trend continues this way.