Chapter Meeting – June 16, 2015

This was our first meeting at La Salle University!  It was also the first meeting for which we have had a sponsor, Giovanni’s Pizzeria, thanks to Mitch’s initiative.  They provided two delicious pizza pies and they have committed to continuing their sponsorship every couple of months.  Please show your appreciation and stop by if you are in the area.

We were a total of eight people, including one newcomer, Mike.  Three of the attendees are current students at La Salle Universtity. The new conference room accommodates around 15 people and it has nice audiovisual features that we plan to use in upcoming meetings.

Having food and drinks at the meeting was also new for most of us since that is something we are not able to do at the Bala Cynwyd Library.

Mitch led the meeting.  We had our regular introductions and check-ins.  Jim McFarlane told us about the app he has designed for the upcoming NSA conference.  The new app will be released to all NSA members very soon and everyone attending the conference will be able to use it to plan the workshops they want to attend, get reminders, see what other friends are attending and provide feedback about each workshop the attend.  Nice job, Jim!

One of the topics of discussion was whether stuttering is a disability.  We agreed that it is not a disability but it can be disabling at times.  The difference is subtle but is important.  Bill mentioned that the American Disabilities Act doesn’t have a list of disabilities but it only provides the definition of what constitutes one, which is something that prevents you from performing one of the basic functions:  eating, moving, communicating, dressing and grooming.

We played a game.  Each of us drew a card with the name a famous person.  We didn’t look at our own card but everybody else did. By asking yes/no questions to the others we had to guess who we were.  It was fun a good way to end the meeting.


Changes to Meeting Dates and Location

We are adding La Salle University as a location for one of our regular meetings. We are unique in that we have two meetings a month, while most chapters have only one monthly meeting. Having two monthly meetings offers our members more opportunities and we feel it’s best to vary the time and location of the meetings to appeal to others in the Philadelphia area who can’t make it on Thursday night or to Bala Cynwyd. We decided that La Salle University was a great place to have one of our two monthly meetings, based on our past relationship with them and Mitch’s current affiliation with them. We believe it will provide the chapter with greater exposure to help more people.

The first meeting of the month will continue to meet on the 1st THURSDAY of the month at the Bala Cynwyd Library, while the meetings at La Salle University will be on the 3rdTUESDAY of the month. Note that due to the National Conference, we will not meet on July 2nd. All meetings will be from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM.

Meetings at La Salle University will be held at St Benilde Tower, Room 2002. Our first meeting will be next week on June 16 from 7:00 to 8:45 PM. Be there for this historic meeting. Below are the details:

La Salle University
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141

St. Benilde Tower is located on Wister Street between Bellefield and Olney Avenues. Those who attend should park in the “K” Lot. Parking is free. If you are given a parking ticket by mistake, please contact Mitch Trichon at

Please check our Events calendar  for up to date information regarding meeting dates, times and locations. As usual, we will also send reminders of each meeting several days before.


We hope to see you at our new location soon!


Chapter Meeting – June 4, 2015

We were four people at this meeting.  Lou Madonna came after many months being absent.  We talked about the goals that people had set at the last meeting and how they were doing with them.

Mitch told us about his incredible experience at the White House.  One of his extended relatives was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for service during World War I.  There was a reception at the White House and another at the Pentagon.  He met a lot of relatives he had not met before and his stuttering was more pronounced than normal but he was OK with it.  Some kids saw it as being weird others were fine with it.  Mitch compared the experience as being at an NSA Conference where you don’t know that many people but you feed the bond that ties you together with them.

Lou shared a lot about his current interests and how stuttering is not front and center anymore in his life.  He doesn’t know if it has to with aging or the fact that his other activities have his focus now and he doesn’t care about stuttering anymore. He is coming to terms with himself and he is in a good place now.  He attributes some of it to a lifetime of absorbing different things, therapies, support from meetings, etc., all of which have had a cumulative effect and are now transpiring into increased fluency.

We all took turns at speaking from the lectern about a random topic chosen by the others.

We also went over the new meeting location at La Salle University.  Meetings will start on June 16 and will take place every third Tuesday.  See upcoming announcement and don’t forget to check the schedule on the Events page.

New Chapter Co-Leader: Mitchell Trichon

I am excited to announce that Mitchell Trichon joined me as a Chapter Co-leader earlier this year. Mitch moved to Philadelphia to join the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at La Salle University. He is a long-time member of the NSA. As a member of the Board of Directors he led the national network of adult chapters. He has also previously led 3 different chapters and was recognized as Chapter Leader of the Year in 2008. Mitch’s research focuses on self-help activities for people who stutter which led him to co-found Stutter Social, on online community of people who stutter that hosts support groups via webcams. He is a person who stutters and a clinician that is eager to contribute to our chapter’s growth and evolution.

Mitch and I share the same vision of what we would like our chapter to become, he has lots of ideas and resources that will help us get there. In fact, he has already been very active during the last few months with a few projects he will tell you about himself. I am very happy to work with Mitch in promoting our chapter, reaching out to other people that stutter in our area and providing the help and support they need.

Please help me welcome Mitch to our chapter!


Chapter Meeting – May 21, 2015

Mitch Trichon hosted this meeting while I was away.  Here are his notes of the meeting:

Four people attended the Philadelphia Chapter meeting.  It was great to get to know each other more since all attending were pretty new to the chapter.  We agreed to all set goals for ourselves before the next meeting.  I though this suggestion was great.  It helps people to use forward thinking and gets them to verbalize what they want for themselves.  I believe this can be empowering.  Here were the goals: voluntarily stutter at a family reunion to 5 family members, more focus on eye contact, make 5 calls using speech skills, volunteer to speak at a Toastmasters meeting.