We were four people at this meeting, all regular members..
One of our young adult attendees has been giving presentations about stuttering to a couple of student groups in her school as part of the end-of-year activities. She told them about how it feels when she stutters, she dispelled myths about what stuttering is and it is not. She gave tips about how to interact with a person who stutters and had a fellow student to role play a typical situation. Way to go! What a great opportunity to educate others.
We talked about how disclosure sometimes can backfire at you. It happened once to one of our members during a job interview. There are other times when the non-stutterer doesn’t feel comfortable after disclosure has happened. We talked about a comedian that stutters and makes jokes about himself in stuttering situations. Many times people don’t feel comfortable laughing at those jokes. But you can also say that the comedian is not doing a god job if is making people uncomfortable. How would you feel?
The topic about therapists that stutter came up. Some people would not choose one because they don’t think that a person that has not overcome their own stuttering can help them with their own. One of our attendees was an SLP that stutters and this is what he tells people about it. Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players of all time and he had a coach. Was his coach better than him? Why would Michael Jordan need a coach? A coach is not necessarily better than the athlete. A coach has experience, tools and knowledge about the sport, observes the player and sees things that the athlete doesn’t notice and is able to offer advice.
We finished the meeting with the Closing words and wished everyone a good Memorial Day weekend
We met at Temple University. We had three new people, one of them a friend that came to support a new attendee on her first meeting.
One of the new members came as a way to challenge himself to talk to groups of people. We talked about Toastmasters as another venue to learn and practice talking to audiences, improve communication skills and remove bad habits.
The second first-timer is a young person that has fear of speaking and fear of what people would think if she stutters. We all shared experiences like that but we also encouraged her to not focus on what people will say but on what she wants to communicate. We agree that we are all our worse enemies and we think that what people see when we stutter is worse than what we feel. It is not easy to take that step but I hope we encouraged her enough to try.
Four of us met at the Bala Cynwyd Library, one of them a family member. After the Welcoming words, we introduced ourselves and shared a movie that we have enjoyed recently.
Three of us had attended the previous week’s Panel of People that Stutter at La Salle University and we talked about the experience.
We talked about the difference between identifying ourselves as “stutterer” versus saying “I stutter” or “I am a person that stutters”. We prefer saying “I stutter”. “Stutterer” feels like a label, which can have a lot of negative connotations. It feels like it is a definition of all we are, as opposed as just one more quality about us.
A question was posed that made us think a lot: Would you go to a therapist that stutters? You would think that it would be an advantage because that person would understand a lot of what we go through. But some wouldn’t go to a therapist that stutters because if he/she is still stuttering, can the therapist help you? It was an interesting question and we spent quite sometime talking about the pros and cons. What would you do?
We were invited to attend the Panel of People Who Stutter at La Salle University. This has become an annual event, as we attended a class of the Graduate program on Fluency Disorders and had an opportunity to talk to the students.
Seven members of our chapter attended. This time we sat in front of the class and answered students’ questions. It was nice to offer multiple views for every question and we show how individual our experiences are.
We felt very welcome and enjoyed the experience. This is a great opportunity to educate future therapists on the challenges of being people who stutter.
We were five people at this meeting and this time we welcomed two students from the Fluency Disorders Graduate Program of La Salle University.
We started the meeting with our Welcoming words and introductions. The students have to do an exercise for their class in which they have to pretend that they stutter and observe people’s reactions as well as their own feelings. They shared their experience with us and they were surprised at how difficult it was to carry on with the exercise.
We shared a lot of our experiences. They had a lot of questions for us and wanted to know how to be better therapists and help people that stutter in the future.