January 2011

February 01, 2011  |  Posted in: Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

Looking for a warm place to get you out of the cold? Need a break from the everyday grind we all seem to get caught up in? How about checking out a place where you will hear countless stories of courage, fortitude, compassion and empathy? If you are a person who stutters (PWS), you will be amazed how quickly the itch to challenge yourself will arise. Well, I can assure you from first hand experience that you can experience all of this in one place, the Queens Chapter of the NSA. Our meetings have transformed themselves into somewhat of a family gathering. The best part is that every month the family gets bigger and bigger.

At our last meeting, many topics were discussed, one of them being different ways that people use our meetings. Some mentioned how the meetings were a form of therapy, while others likened the meetings to a place they come to just hang out and catch up with old friends. If you feel like you have reached a point in your speech where trying something new could expand your comfort zone.

Another topic revolved around the fear of the perception of our listeners. We discussed how we all handle those perceptions in different ways. Some PWS chose to disclose their displeasure with the listener while others chose the kinder, gentler approach. Coming to the meeting makes people feel more comfortable with their stuttering, it helps lessen the fear we all seem to share. It would be difficult for anyone to eliminate it altogether, but just the idea of feeling more comfortable about stuttering is a big deal in itself. Sometimes voluntary stuttering could also help us feel more comfortable about our stuttering. We talked about how and the fact that it is not for everybody. The dialogue was very open and constructive. Some were in favor while others were against. A big reoccurring theme is how PWS feel alone, (only about 1% of the adult population stutter, that’s what makes us so special 🙂 ) But coming to the meetings and meeting new friends and family every month offers the unique opportunity to see that we are not alone! That’s why I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about coming, but may have anxiety about that first time to give it a shot. I feel it is important to understand that everyone reacts and feels differently about similar situations. Be being more proactive about our stutter by either advertising (being more open about our stuttering) and educating others about stuttering we shape our own views of how we feel about our stutter, instead of being negatively influenced by others.

Thank you to everyone for making our meetings such a great place to share, listen and support! As different and unique as we all are, stuttering bonds us, but doesn’t define us. It is only a piece of us and we chose how it can shape us. It also gives us the insight and can fuel the courage which often is empowering to the next person who reaches out. It’s nice to hear everyone’s input in addition to the support and encouragement throughout the meeting.

Hope to see you at the next meeting,

John D.

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