We had a great meeting first meeting of 2017 last Tuesday night on January 17th. In total, 24 people showed up, with 7 first- timers and 2 SLP’s. After an hour and a half of sharing conversations, concerns, stories, and laughter within our 3 mini groups, we ended the meeting in high spirits and a handful of us hung out a bit more after at the bar across the street.
To begin the night, several members within each group voiced some frustrations we experience as people who stutter. In one of the groups, we explored what it feels like to have a different speech pattern than our friends. On one hand, it can feel very isolating and inconvenient to speak differently. But on the other hand, as many members also brought up, it is this unique way of speaking that helps us reach greater intimacy and humility in our relationships.
Another group talked about the impact that negative reactions we receive from strangers have on us. When people laugh or make comments about our speech, it can be hurtful and make tasks such as phone calls more painful than necessary. While some members suggested advertising or disclosing stuttering, most agreed that patience, self- compassion, and support were crucial.
With fluency as the norm, it can be hard to find freedom and comfort in speaking situations. However as another group discussed, the support group environment is very special and allows people to feel more comfortable and experiment with stuttering. Granted everyone must find their own path in their own time, in our support groups we hope to relate with and help people along the way.
Brooklyn group: The next Brooklyn chapter meeting will be Monday February 13th. Check out their site here for all info.
Next Midtown group meeting will be TUESDAY February 21st. (It will be on the third TUESDAY in February – NOT Monday – due to Presidents Day.) Check out our site here for all info.
Getting involved: We’re always looking for new ways to continue to strengthen our growing stuttering community. Shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas.
The NYC chapters are in the the preliminary stages of planning another conference in late Spring. If anyone has a connection to a venue in NYC, please reach out to us!