February 2012 Newsletter

February 20, 2012  |  Posted in: Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

With love in the air, the Queens Chapter of the NSA met on Monday, February 13th to share their experiences with stuttering. The meeting brought together new and returning PWS to discuss topics such as having a family member who stutters, thinking of stuttering as a journey, the response of our listeners and considering using stuttering as a conversation starter. During optional introductions, there always seems to be an attendee who sums up our meetings perfectly and this meeting was no different. An attendee shared that he credits the group for helping him come out of his comfort zone and advertise his stuttering. I can’t think of a better way to depict the NSA and our monthly meetings. I hope that all of you readers feel this way at some point but if you need support, feel free to attend our next meeting on March 13th. We would love to stutter beautifully with you.


As the meeting started, attendees discussed if they had a family member who stutters. The majority of attendees who stutter shared that they had at least one other family member who stutters. Research has shown that if you stutter, there is a 50% chance that you have a family member who stutters. There is ongoing research to support this statistic but I hope you take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Another topic discussed was the idea of thinking of stuttering as a journey. We as PWS did not voluntarily take on the role of being a person who stutters but it is something we have been given. You can either wear stuttering as your identity or acknowledge it as a small part of the amazing person that you are. It is your choice whether you accept your stuttering or let it become your identity. From personal experience, I can relate to the frustrations and emotions that come along with stuttering but I encourage you to not lose sight of who you are by hiding behind blocks, bumps and repetitions.


As the meeting continued, attendees discussed their listener’s perception of stuttering. One PWS stated that he prefers bringing his stuttering up because he is explaining to his listener that “this is what you might hear in case you don’t know what stuttering entails.” Another attendee shared that he tells the listener because since he is comfortable with his stuttering, why shouldn’t his listener be? Personally, I fully agree with these two statements. I advertise my stuttering when I feel necessary and do so to relax and feel more comfortable talking to my listener. I believe that you should advertise for yourself and no one else because at the end of the day, you are the one in control of your life and your actions.


As the meeting came to a close, the final topic of the night was the idea of using stuttering as a conversation starter. I myself struggle with this idea because I want to be thought of as a friendly, loyal, compassionate person who also stutters rather than only the girl who stutters. An attendee summed it up perfectly by saying that “stuttering is a package deal. We cannot control when or how we stutter but we can control other people’s perceptions of our stuttering and the role it plays in our life.” Stuttering and the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies it is not always pleasant but it is at meetings like this where I have to step back and realize that there are others who “get it.” Aside from meetings, if you would like to surround yourself with people who “get it,” join us at the annual NSA conference in St. Petersburg, Florida from July 4th to July 8th. If you would like more information on this event, please visit www.nsastutter.org.


Once again, the Queens Chapter of the NSA would like to thank their sponsors Fat Boys Pizza, Starbucks and Lasova Grill of Fresh Meadows for supplying us with delicious treats at our meetings. Make sure to check our website for upcoming events and meetings. 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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