September Newsletter

October 01, 2011  |  Posted in: Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives,Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

As persons who stutter (PWS), we often look for support from our family, friends and fellow stutterers. On Tuesday, September 13th, the NSA Queens Chapter hosted their 2nd Family & Friends night. The meeting was filled with new and old faces as well as an overwhelming sense of support, understanding and encouragement from our loved ones and peers. A PWS suggested that NSA meetings are an “easy going place for PWS.” Attendees enjoyed a relaxing, insightful night while enjoying pizza from our new new sponsor – Fat Boys Pizza in Fresh Meadows.

Instead of meeting as one group of 28 people (we know how scary that can be 🙂 ) , the attendees were split up into smaller groups which included PWS, friends, and family. Topics discussed included obstacles and challenges for PWS as well as overcoming and accepting stuttering. One group discussed the idea of changing perceptions of PWS from “unable” to “capable.” The group felt that stuttering should not make or break a job interview or professional position. Stuttering is a part of us but we have many amazing qualities to share with our future co-workers that should not go unnoticed. I strongly believe that stuttering does not define us. Instead, stuttering teachers us about patience, understanding, endurance and strength. Although I know it is not always easy, take a moment and ask yourself “Would I be the person I am today if I didn’t stutter?” Personally, if I didn’t stutter I wouldn’t have had the amazing opportunity to be involved with the NSA and to meet so many inspirational PWS who have helped me to realize that I am not alone.

Another group spoke about different types of stutterers such as covert and overt stutterers. Covert stutterers try to hide their stutter by using word substitutions to avoid stuttering completely. Overt stutterers advertise their stuttering and freely stutter in public. No matter what type of stutterer you are, please know that there are support groups you can go to and not feel alone. Support groups offer PWS an opportunity to talk freely about their stuttering without the fear of being ashamed or judged. The group also discussed the idea of letting our listeners finish our sentences for us. While the group agreed that most of the time, they preferred their listeners to NOT finish their sentences, one PWS said, “every now and then, it is a welcome relief to have someone finish my sentence when I am struggling.” While some of you may feel defeated if someone finished your sentence, I know there are instances when I feel so emotionally and mentally exhausted from using techniques and trying not to stutter that I feel relieved when someone helps me to finish a thought. We must acknowledge the fact that we need and deserve support from time to time. A supportive parent of a PWS shared that “my wife and I are often frustrated and heart-broken to see our daughter struggle. However, we have comfort in knowing she has embraced and accepted stuttering. We couldn’t be more proud of the woman she has become.” The meeting concluded with members from each group summarizing their discussions. Attendees also had an optional opportunity to introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

We often meet people who are not educated about stuttering. There are many outlets for people to learn about stuttering and become active members of the stuttering community. “Our Time” is a non-profit organization for kids and teens who stutter to participate in acting, singing, and writing. The Queens Chapter was recently featured on WPIX in hopes of spreading the word about support groups and the stuttering community. They also recently launched a new website with more information about past/upcoming events and member’s perspectives on stuttering. Please subscribe to the website since there will be no more monthly reminders being sent out. The NSA offers great resources and opportunities for those who stutter. Why wait? Join Today! Don’t be afraid to be a fruitloop in a world of cheerios. Stay Strong and Stutter Beautifully!

 

-Nina Z.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Blog section of the NSA Queens Chapter website do not necessarily concur with the views or beliefs of the National Stuttering Association (NSA) or the Queens Chapter of the NSA. They are the opinion of each individual contributing author who attends the Queens chapter.









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