March 2012 Newsletter

March 28, 2012  |  Posted in: Newsletter   |  By:   |   1 Comment

With spring in the air, the Queens Chapter of the NSA met on Monday, March 12th to discuss their journey through life as persons who stutter (PWS). Every meeting seems to have a similar underlying tone of appreciation and comfort and this meeting was no different. Attendees had the pleasure of hearing from three young teens who stutter. It was truly inspirational to hear their positive attitude and outlook on stuttering, especially at such a young age. As the meeting progressed, the teens continued to amaze all of those who were in attendance.

The first topic discussed at the meeting was the idea of having low self-esteem as a PWS. One teen shared that she used to have low self-esteem due to her stuttering but she has realized that stuttering is nothing to be ashamed of. I personally could not have said it better myself. While we all may feel ashamed or embarrassed at one time or another, stuttering is a part of who we are and we have the unconditional support of the National Stuttering Association to remind us that we are not alone. Although the NSA is there to support us, many people, including myself find it imminent that our friends and family support us as well. The teens were enthused to share that their friends are very supportive of them and have encouraged them to finish their sentences when times become disfluent. I think it is so important that our peers are not only supportive of us, but that they truly understand what stuttering entails. It is our responsibility to spread the word about stuttering and enlighten those who have been misinformed.

Another topic discussed at the meeting was the idea of wanting to say a word or thought but being stuck and not being able to get it out. One attendee mentioned that it happens to him all the time when he is ordering food or talking on the phone but he encouraged attendees to try their best and let whatever happens happen. Many attendees agreed with this and suggested that everyone’s stutter is so different that what works for one PWS may not work for another. It is important my fellow stutterers that we not let stuttering change who we are and our thoughts. It is not always easy and often, we might find ourselves saying “never mind” or “forget it” but I encourage you to say what you want to say regardless of your stutter and let the “blocks” fall where they may.

One idea mentioned to help prepare for a stutter is known as “voluntary stuttering.” Voluntary stuttering is also known as stuttering on purpose. One attendee shared “it’s not that I love stuttering but by voluntarily stuttering in certain situations, I prepare myself for when it really happens. It will happen when it happens and I’m OK with it. It’s not a big deal.” Voluntary stuttering may appear to be “out of the box” and unnatural to some of you but as a person who voluntarily stutters on occasion, it does prepare me for future blocks. There is no harm in trying it out, whether it be with a family member or friend or even with a stranger on the telephone. We would love to hear your feedback so feel free to contact us and let us about your voluntary stutter experience!

As the meeting came to a close, returning attendees shared that it was great to have the teens at the meeting because they are helping to shape how stuttering is portrayed in junior high schools and elementary schools. It is important to not let stuttering hold us back and experience all the wonderful things life has to offer. One attendee summed up stuttering perfectly by saying that “you are good at whatever you are good at and we happen to be great at stuttering! Don’t let stuttering dictate who you are or who you become.”

If you are GREAT at stuttering and you would like to find out more information about stuttering, please visit www.friendswhostutter.org or www.westutter.org. We hope to see you at our next meeting, at the NSA conference from July 4th to July 8th in Tampa, Florida and/or at the FRIENDS conference from July 19th to July 21st in Denver, Colorado. Until next time, don’t be afraid to be a fruitloop in a word of cheerios. Stay strong and stutter beautifully!

1 Comment for this entry

  • David

    April 26th, 2012 on 10:09 am

    Thank you for writing this amazing article, you are a role model for all PWS.









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