August Newsletter and Meeting Summary

August 26, 2011  |  Posted in: Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

Hi Everyone! My name is Nina and I am a person who stutters (PWS). I am very involved in the NSA and I am looking forward to writing our monthly newsletters. I have always enjoyed sharing my own experiences with stuttering through my blogs but by writing our newsletter, I hope to inspire you to attend a meeting or to simply reinforce the idea that “you are not alone.” NSA meetings bring me comfort, joy, and acceptance. Our last meeting on August 8th at St. John’s University was no different.

We began the meeting with intros. WAIT! It’s not that bad, I promise! It became very clear that while we would usually be nervous and worried about other people’s perceptions of stuttering, these OPTIONAL intros bring us comfort and reassurance that we are not alone.  Someone described it perfectly by saying that NSA meetings provide us with a much needed boost of confidence every now and then. The group as a whole agreed that it was enlightening to share experiences with old and new faces. A first timer said that she felt inspired to see people from all different walks of life be successful individuals while handling their stuttering to the best of their ability.

I often ask myself why others would see us as less capable of a position or job just because we stutter. This past summer I attended the NSA conference in Fort Worth, Texas. At a workshop I attended, I was introduced to the idea of “disclosing” stuttering which goes beyond the idea of advertising. Disclosing refers to the idea that you not only say, “Hi, I’m a person who stutters” but you also explain why stuttering does not prevent you from performing to the best of your ability. Disclosing can be a very powerful tool and I encourage you to use it in challenging situations.

As the meeting went on, we discussed stuttering in children and parents’ reactions to their child’s stuttering. As an elementary school teacher, I believe that encouragement and acceptance are two powerful tools when helping children to gain self-confidence and acknowledge that although they stutter, they are not alone. It was suggested that Early Intervention is the “right way to go” and parents should bring their child to a speech pathologist as soon as stuttering begins to surface. Another important aspect of stuttering discussed at the meeting was stuttering awareness.  Another member said that when you see stuttering as less of a disorder, you begin to accept the stuttering and not let it hold you back from reaching your goals. I believe this is a great way to approach stuttering. In my opinion, self-acceptance and awareness of stuttering is far more important than being fluent 100% of the time. A PWS mentioned that the first time he attended an NSA conference, he was looking for a cure but soon realized that there were so many successful PWS. At the conference, I met several people who have changed their lives to “accommodate” their stuttering. My question is are you “accommodating” your stuttering or letting it take control of your life? It was suggested that when we see people not handling their stuttering in the “right way,” we should remind ourselves that we are good communicators and by attending NSA meetings, we are taking a step towards self-acceptance. To sum it up: self-help= longer rate success!

As the meeting came to a close, one of the attendees (who does not stutter) commended everyone for sharing their stories and achieving their goals, all while being a person who stutters. I truly believe that with the support of the NSA, anything is possible. Be sure to check out our new website for upcoming events and the latest news about upcoming meetings. See you at the Mets game on Aug 29th.  It should be a night filled with peanuts, CrackerJacks and beautiful stuttering. Until next time, Don’t be afraid to be a Fruit loop in a world of Cheerios. Stay strong and Stutter Beautifully!

-Nina Z.

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