Wow! What an incredible turnout. 20 of us showed up this evening to discuss the following:
"What I wish this person knew about stuttering." The basis of this topic was inspired by International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) which occurred on October 22nd (as it does every year).
Members were asked to consider:
Regular Contact Person- Recently, an anonymous acquaintance, and person who stutters, shared with me that they really don't like it when their mother speaks for them whenever they are out together. They have never had the heart to tell her in fear of making her feel bad, since she does have good intentions.
Potential Contact Person- Some of you may remember Natalie Vanderpol (now Griffin) from the group-Natalie is a person who stutters (and Speech Language Pathologist). She shared with me (and granted me permission to share with you) a story about her experience with a flight attendant from just a couple of weeks ago. The flight attendant was taking the usual beverage orders in the aisle from row to row, as they always do. Natalie wanted to order a ginger ale, but when it came to being her turn, she had a block and could not get the word out fast enough for this flight attendant. The flight attendant decided just to move on and take the next person's order.
For both of these examples, there are things that could be said and done, although very difficult to do, right? One is definitely more sensitive than the other, but they are equally important for different reasons. We will be explored reasons and possible solutions/responses to situations while writing cards with the sentiment or statement we "wished that person knew about stuttering." After writing the thoughtful notes, members engaged their creative side by designing a cover to their card which somehow represented themselves as a person who stutters, or their stuttering journey as a whole. What the member does with their card is completely up to them. Maybe the actually give the card to the person they had in mind; maybe they don't; maybe they keep it in their car for "just in case." Whatever ends up being done with their card, the message was put out into the universe and a release of thoughts was employed. That in and of itself, is power.