March Recap

March Recap

Our Monday night meeting was held at our new location, Aspire Center for Health and Wellness, on West 35th street. There were 31 people in attendance, 4 Speech-Language Pathologists, 1 graduate student, and 2 first-timers. Welcome Jessica and Seth, we are so glad you joined! We split into two groups so that everyone had an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation. Here are some of the topics we discussed:

Facing Fear
We spoke about how facing the discomfort of stuttering and being open about our stutter is more effective than relying on our ‘speech tools’ and attempting to pass as fluent. Many agreed that our tools often fail us when we need them the most. Turning toward, and easing through the discomfort, rather than running from it, empowers us and gives us the courage to face more speaking situations. One member shared how he stutters openly, and if someone looks at him disrespectfully, he addresses the person with confidence and dignity. Another person shared that he finds that maintaining eye contact, a confident body posture, and demeanor, affects how people perceive him. This got us talking about perception, and how when we communicate confidently, others perceive us that way. At the same time, we also spoke about how we don’t always have our A game on and that we have tough days. We acknowledged that there are times that we get a bad reaction, an awkward silence, or a mean look. We acknowledged that not everyone is understanding and sensitive, and sometimes it really hurts.

Someone brought up the topic of advertising, that is, letting someone know at the start of the conversation that you stutter. He said it was frightening, and at the same time, liberating. He shared how advertising changed his life, and that he currently has his dream job because of his ability to advertise. Another member shared that he likes advertising, because, in addition to releasing the tension he feels, it holds the other person responsible to react appropriately. One person shared how she wanted to advertise to her class, but knew that her classmates already knew she stuttered, so she wasn’t sure what the point was. This led us to talk about how advertising is not about the other person, but ourselves. Advertising is about owning our stutter so that we get to decide how to handle it, and not let our stutter handle us.

We also spoke about acceptance. One person said that he accepted a long time ago that he stuttered, and that he was aware of how his stuttering affected several interviews and may have cost him potential jobs. However, he said that despite his stutter, he is now at the job that he wanted, and that “fate has a way of working things out.” Another person added to this saying, sometimes stuttering really impacts you in ways you wish it didn’t, but for every loss there is a gain. One person said that he believes stuttering makes us more kind and compassionate, and another person said that it build character and makes us stronger people.

It was incredible to see all of you at the meeting this Monday! Join us again next month for more great conversations, good laughs, and support.
Until then,


March Recap (makeup meeting)

March Recap (makeup meeting)

As always, our Monday night meeting was a great one. There were 20 of us in attendance, 2 SLPs, 17 people who stutter, one very supportive boyfriend – and 4 first-timers – a very special welcome to James, Sean, Peter and Liz for joining us!

This meeting reminded us of the importance of support and what the National Stuttering Association represents – we welcome all those who stutters, regardless of your speech goals, and also that we are not alone in our journey.

We split the group into two, to keep things a bit more intimate.

Group 1:
We discussed the important weapon of resilience we sometimes forget we have in our arsenal. A member talked about how he had a phone call for a job application he had submitted not go as planned, as the person on the other line kept things very short and basically hung up on him. There is sometimes a benefit in analyzing and processing a situation, maybe learn from it, but sometimes it may be even more important to pick yourself up from a tough situation, and keep moving forward.

One member talked about how staying present when he’s about to talk to one of his clients on the phone helps to keep those mental demons away, and therefore struggle less while speaking. Most of us can relate to this, since stuttering is linked so closely to our emotional state. Similarly, for some of us it takes a bit of voluntary stuttering to get in that mindset, or just putting ourselves out there a bit more when we begin to get too comfortable. We’re talking about stuttering here, but this applies to most things in life if you’re into the whole personal growth thing.

Group 2:

One member talked about how his passion on a certain topic usually overrides most concerns related to how his stuttering will impact his speaking. This is an insightful perspective since many of us often place more attention on how we are going to say something rather what we are going to say.

As one of the co-leaders of our group, I don’t get to sit in on both groups, but I had the chance to talk to one of the first timers before the meeting, who was sitting in the other group. His message was a very important one, perhaps the most important for many of us. He encouraged the group to not only speak up, but to also remember to stand up for yourself – whether someone is confused and thinks it’s okay to laugh, or you get cut you off…or whatever the case may be.

As always, it was an honor to be able to help in making Monday night happen. Hope to see you all very soon, and if you haven’t yet, please go ahead and LIKE our brand new NY Chapters Face Book page. We are planning some exciting outings for the Spring, so connect with us to stay in the loop!