We were four regular attendees at this meeting. After our personal updates we talked about several events coming up.
We decided on the date and venue for our next social event. A Happy Hour at Misconduct Tavern on Wednesday, September 26 starting at 5:30 PM . A separate email will follow with more details.
We also talked about our second venue. The second meeting in October will be at Temple University. We are also looking into the Community College of Philadelphia as a possible location. More details on that will be coming up soon.
One of us is looking for a new job and we talked about how to cover some items in the resume and interviewing
We had a guest tonight, a fellow NSA member from the New York chapter. He shared some information about an upcoming one-day conference that the three NY chapters will be hosting at the end of October. The official announcement will be out soon.
One of our newer members shared that he finds the meetings to be helpful for him, He also created a Facebook page dedicated to his stuttering journey in an attempt to be more open about it. So far he has found a lot of support from his family and friends. This was a good lead into talking about other online resources. We talked about Stutter Social (www.stuttersocial.com) and about other Facebook groups. Having the opportunity to talk to other people that stutter, whether in person or online, is a good tool to practice and gain confidence.
Wet talked about what success means to us and the importance of separating success from being fluent. You can be communicate successfully by stuttering comfortably. We all agreed that being in control of a situation helps but sometimes it is exhausting.
We also talked about medical research in Stuttering and whether there are any substances that can help. For example, there are medications that are used to treat alcoholism that use muscle relaxers. In the study, there was a person that stuttered and after reaching certain dose, didn’t stutter anymore. Jerry McGuire, the NSA Chairman, has also been leading studies on medications that can help people who stutter.
We finished the meeting with some administration topics about upcoming events and the closing words.
We talked about the difference between fluency shaping and stuttering modification approaches to speech therapy. This led into talking about the Precision Fluency Shaping program. A few of our attendees have participated in that program in the past and one new member was considering it. We shared a lot of valuable feedback and very interesting information. Overall, we all agreed that the program’s usefulness decreases overtime and not a lot people are able to follow the techniques long-term.
We shared several administrative updates: We continue to meet at the Bala Cynwyd Library for the second meeting of the month. We are still looking for a second venue and we have good candidates. One of them is Temple University. They have an SLP program and a clinic from which we could get referrals. We’ll let you know more in the coming weeks.
We are also working with the national organization to organize a one-day conference in our area later in November, stay tuned for details about that. We are planning a Happy Hour as our next social event at the end of September. More details on all this soon!
We had a new attendee who is a family member of a person that stutters that has never come to a meeting. This person is not comfortable coming to a meeting yet but his family is very supportive and they want to help as much as they can.
We talked about our reasons to come to our first meeting and most of them were related to an experience we had at our workplace. We then talked about how stuttering affects what we do at work and how we feel. It was interesting to hear that when we stutter introducing someone we feel like we failed that person, as if we did them a disservice. When we stutter during a meeting, many times we stop contributing to the meeting (unless called upon) because we don’t want to slow down the rest of the meeting or we just don’t feel comfortable talking anymore.
We talked about the recent annual conference and other opportunities to interact with people who stutter such as Stutter Social, regional conferences, social events, etc. Stay tuned for more information about some of these.
We had a nice meeting. We were four people, including a newcomer. We had our introductions and shared stories about our summer activities. We talked about the NSA conference and some of the workshops.
One of us was considering using a Speecheasy device and another person shared his experience with it. It worked for about 20 months for him, but then it stopped working because he was already too used to it and stopped being effective.
This lead into talking about other external factors that influence our speech such as alcohol, caffeine For most of us, alcohol makes us more fluent and caffeine makes it worse. Some people that use anti anxiety medication find that it helps their fluency, but that should not be the reason to take those kind of drugs.
As you know, we are making changes to the time and location of our second meeting of the month until we have a new permanent home for it. This past Monday, we went back to the Bala Cynwyd Library and we met in the 1st floor conference room.
We were a total of 7 people, which included two new attendees and a family member. We learned about our two newcomers and why they came. One of them has been a long-time member of our chapter but it had been 10 years since he came to a meeting. Welcome back!
We talked about the Hollins program, which two of the attendees had been part of. We also talked about our goals for coming to the meeting. Some of us have specific goals related to stuttering, others have a more open approach to come and be part of the group.
Another topic of discussion was the upcoming National Conference and our experiences in past years.
It was a very good meeting. Remember that we will NOT have a meeting at the beginning of July due to the NSA National Conference.
Have a great 4th of July!