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.
Come join us for Happy Hour next Wednesday, September 26 starting at 5:30 PM at Misconduct Tavern on 1511 Locust Street, Philadelphia. Come and relax after a long day’s work and have fun with your fellow NSA peers. Bring a friend!
They have drink and food specials until 7:00 PM every day, the ones for Wednesday are listed below. They also have discounted prices for drafts and other items.
Special thanks to Kevin Rafferty for doing the leg work and organizing this event.
Please RSVP and let us know if you plan to come.
See you next week!
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.