December Newsletter

December 17, 2011  |  Posted in: Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

Happy December Everyone! Despite being the most wonderful time of the year, the Queens Chapter of the NSA was able to meet on Tuesday, December 6th at St. John’s University to discuss the many challenges of being a PWS. The chapter was enthused to hear that 3 first-timers found their way to the Queens Chapter by searching the web. This goes to show that support is truly just a mouse click away!

During the opening words, someone suggested that “NSA meetings are the best spot in the tri-state area to give speaking a shot since we have all experienced it and no one is here to judge us.” I couldn’t have said it better myself and as the night progressed, it became very clear that all attendees felt a sense of ease and encouragement at the meeting.

Several attendees mentioned during the optional introductions that they have been using the word “um” very frequently. Another person stated that “likes and ums help me to get to the next word.” Throughout my journey with stuttering, I have also found that I use the word “um” as a filler when I want to say something but I am at a literal loss for words. It may appear that I don’t have my thoughts together but I do! I just need a few extra seconds to say what I want to say. If your favorite word is “um,” you are NOT alone!

A topic discussed at the meeting was the idea of going on a job interview while being a person who stutters (PWS). There were mixed emotions from attendees on how to handle advertising stuttering on an interview. One member shared that he has had positive interview experiences and that by disclosing his stuttering, he is able to relax and focus less on the fact that he is a PWS. Another attendee shared that “I feel uncomfortable during interviews when I stutter because if it is not discussed, I often feel hesitant and my stuttering becomes a negative thing.” I personally feel that if you advertise your stuttering on an interview, a great weight will be lifted off of your shoulders. If you spend so much time hiding the fact that you stutter, you may not perform or answer posed questions to the best of your ability because you’re not focused on the interview; you are focused on your stuttering. Stuttering does not define who you are or what you are capable of. What better way to show others you are a strong person than to admit your flaws and still thrive in your profession?

The group also discussed the idea of making phone calls. The phone can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. One member shared that “there are some days when I avoid calls completely.” To be honest, there are some days when I avoid talking on the phone. I become upset with myself because I know I am capable of doing what I set my mind to, but there are occasions when I have to physically remind myself that if I call someone and stutter…it’s ok! Another attendee summed it up perfectly by saying “we beat ourselves up for things we don’t do but we must acknowledge the times we go out of our comfort zone.”  Stuttering is a part of who we are; it does not define us and it should not discourage us.

As the meeting came to a close, the group agreed that if the “fluent community” does not accept or attempt to understand stuttering, shame on them! Stuttering is not something we can control but it is something we can advertise and stand up for. Like I always say… Live. Love. Stutter.

The Queens Chapter would like to thank their sponsors: Starbucks, Fat Boys Pizza and Lasova Grill 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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