November 2011 Newsletter

November 16, 2011  |  Posted in: Blog,Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

Happy November everyone! With a chill in the air, the Queens Chapter of the NSA met on Tuesday, November 8th at St. John’s University to celebrate their 3 year anniversary. The meeting started with optional intros during which attendees agreed that meetings offer PWS a place to share their thoughts, feelings (negative or positive) and concerns about stuttering.  One PWS shared that “I was very happy to find this place since I wasn’t able to find others who stutter. We are all faced socially with this problem and I enjoy sharing my thoughts at NSA meetings.”

As the night progressed, attendees discussed whether or not they prefer the listener to maintain eye contact with them when they stutter. There was a variety of responses to this loaded question such as “When I am talking one on one with someone I don’t stutter as much so I don’t mind the eye contact,” “I generally would like my listener’s attention but I feel that it can be hard for people to look at me so they look away while I am stuttering,” and “It is easier for me to speak if my listener is not watching me or focusing on me directly because I tend to stutter more.”  Maintaining eye-contact can be a very stressful task, especially when you are in the middle of a block and the listener is waiting for your response. Personally, I tend to look away from my listener when I am in the middle of a block. I feel that by looking away I may not stutter as much or ease out of a block quicker than I would while maintaining eye contact. Although this “technique” seems to work for me, a personal goal of mine is to try to maintain eye contact as much as possible because stuttering or not, I believe that eye contact is a sign of respect and every listener deserves respect, regardless of whether I am in the middle of a block or not.

Another topic that was discussed at the meeting was how different age groups react to stuttering. Teasing and Bullying are two very serious issues that should not be taken lightly. One PWS described it perfectly by saying that “teasing impacts how you feel regardless of self-acceptance and can affect the flow of your day.” For a PWS, teasing can occur simply because of the lack of awareness people (children or adults) have regarding stuttering. The listener may think he or she is helping us when they offer suggestions such as “slow down,” or “take your time” but in reality, they do not understand what we as PWS are going through when we have a block. One PWS summed it up by saying “I DON’T NEED HELP TO SPEAK!” It was suggested that society looks at a physical handicap as more socially accepted because it is visible to the human eye and stuttering is not. One PWS mentioned that The King’s Speech has been very helpful to the stuttering community, but more needs to be done. I feel that it is very important to share your stories and experiences with your friends and family to raise awareness about stuttering and what stuttering entails.

As the meeting came to a close, attendees shared their ideas about the advantages of being a person who stutters. Some advantages included 1) having more patience, 2) being able to relate to children who have learning disabilities, 3) helping children to overcome those learning disabilities, 4) simply making life more interesting and 5) being proactive about life and all the challenges we may face in the future.

The Queens Chapter would like to thank their sponsors: Starbucks of Fresh Meadows and Fat Boys Pizza in Fresh Meadows for providing the group with delicious treats while sharing their stuttering experiences. There is no better time than the present to be proactive about your stuttering. We hope to see you are our next meeting. Please remember to check our website for any upcoming events/ news. Until next time, don’t be afraid to be a fruitloop in a world of cheerios. Stay strong and Stutter Beautifully!

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