Posts Tagged ‘National Stuttering Association’
Episode 99 features Pamela Woebkenberg, who hails from Cincinati, Ohio. Pam works as an office manager in a retail showroom, a communication heavy job.
Pam and I met at the National Stuttering Association (NSA) annual conference in Cleveland in 2010. Pam is actively involved with her local chapter of the NSA and is helping to launch a new, second chapter in her area.
Listen in as we discuss workplace stuttering, advertising and thoughts on having someone else advertise our stuttering. Pam also discusses her early speech therapy experiences, the impact of being involved in stuttering self-help and family.
The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to DanoSongs. Feel free to leave comments or questions for either one of us. Remember, feedback is a gift.
Episode 97 features Chloe Whittaker, who hails from Covington, Washington (near Seattle.) Chloe is 19 years old, attends community college full-time and also works full-time as a veterinary assistant. Wow, talk about busy!
Speaking about her job, you can tell she really loves it, as she says she “helps to save lives.”
Chloe has been involved with the National Stuttering Association (NSA) since she was eight years old. Finding support at such a young age was life changing for Chloe and her family. Listen as Chloe describes the impact the NSA has had on her life, as well as the four+ years she spent as a member of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC.)
We have a great conversation about the unpredictable nature of stuttering, the merits of advertising, the experience of blocking and what goes through our minds, and so much more.
I’m so glad to have had this chat with Chloe. She has such a positive and healthy attitude. Please feel free to leave comments or just let Chloe know what a great job she did. Feedback is a gift.
The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to DanoSongs.
Episode 96 features Kelsey Smith, who hails from Springfield, Illinois. Kelsey is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Kelsey will graduate in May 2013 with a history degree.
Kelsey loves to travel and is considering involvement with the Peace Corps.
We met in July in Tampa, FL at the National Stuttering Association (NSA) conference. It was Kelsey’s first conference. We talk about her experience as a first timer and how the conference helped her move towards acceptance.
Listen is as we also discuss interviews, phone calls versus face to face conversations, advertising and disclosing, and Kelsey’s recent public speaking success.
This was a great conversation. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions or just let Kelsey know what a great job she did. Remember, feedback is a gift.
Music used in this episode, “Per Anima,” is credited to ccMixter.
Episode 94 is a special “monologue” version, where it’s just me, without a guest. Today, on International Stuttering Awareness Day, I offer my thoughts on a question I have pondered.
Are we, as a stuttering community, better off than we were before we had so many support and self-help resources available?
We can answer that two ways. From an individual perspective and from a larger perspective. I’m interested in knowing if you think the world, our little corner, is more knowledgeable about stuttering since there has been an increase in stuttering awareness over, say, the last 5 years.
Or are our awareness efforts only benefiting the stuttering community?
What do you think? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts.
The music clip used in this episode is credited to ccMixter, where podcast safe, creative commons music can be found and freely used.
Episode 91 features Annie Bradberry, who hails from Corona, California. Annie was the Director of the National Stuttering Association for 10 years. She has been involved with the NSA all of her adult life.
Presently, Annie works as the Director of Development of The 100 Mile Club, a physical fitness and lifestyles program for kids in schools.
We talk about her involvement in the stuttering community and the growth she has seen over the years. Annie also shares what it was like transitioning from being the face of the NSA to “Annie who stutters.”
Listen in as we also chat about therapy experiences, moments of vulnerability, self talk, small talk and how stuttering has been an asset sometimes. And we really touch on being more open to our authentic self. We also laugh a lot in this conversation.
We invite you to leave comments, or just let Annie know what you thought of her story. Music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
Episode 15 of the series of conversations with men who stutter features Hanan Hurwitz, who hails from Ra’anana, Israel, via South Africa.
Hanan is an electrical engineer, and works for a company that makes server control equipment.
Hanan attended his first National Stuttering Association conference in 2010. We discuss the power of support and community and what a relief it is to realize that we are not alone.
Listen in to a rich conversation about Hanan’s journey, one which he describes as one of incremental steps. He is excited about sharing his story, as it has been so valuable for him to hear others who have shared their stories.
We talk about avoidance, “mental gymnastics,” losing track of conversations, and talking about stuttering. One thing (among many) things that I loved in this conversation was when I asked Hanan if he does any advertising of his stutter.
His response: “People know I stutter because I stutter.”
Please leave comments for either of us in the comment section, or just let Hanan know what a great job he did. Feedback is a gift.
The music clip in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
I can’t resist sharing this video of Katherine Preston talking about her journey to finding her voice. I had the pleasure of meeting Katherine in person at a NSA conference and at a FRIENDS convention during the summer of 2010.
Katherine was a guest on my podcast “Women Who Stutter: Our Stories,” in the 25th episode Think With Your Heart in September 2010.
Katherine was interviewed by Jonathan Fields for his Good Life Project. Fields is the author of Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. I read this book last year, within a week or so of it’s release. I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a push outside of their comfort zone.
This is a great interview for two reasons. Katherine stutters with confidence, and Jonathan Fields is a patient and respectful interviewer who found no need to rush the conversation.
This is a must see – whether you stutter or not!
First open mic session of the conference: a first-time adult stutterer from Mexico gets up and talks about the warmth and emotion he felt so quickly by being with so many people who stutter. His wife got up and shared that she couldn’t have realized how great support feels and burst into tears, with no shame at all.
Workshop: “Inviting Women Who Stutter to the Table” – about 25 women talked about issues unique to women. We discussed claiming our space, strengthening our voice, and how stuttering affects our femininity. Many shared that it was a very powerful workshop, that it’s important for women who stutter to share with women who stutter. Many came up to us suggesting that this be a staple at future conferences.
Presentation: “The Stuttering Monologues” – first time ever trying something new, a story telling performance that included lessons learned, inspiration, humor and dignity. The room was packed, standing room only, until someone finally decided to raise the wall and open another room. People came up to me saying how great it was. It was such a good feeling to see that this worked as well as I had hoped it would. Hope we get to do it again.
First-timer moment: met Kurt from Austria, as he was heading up to his room about 9pm on Tuesday night. I introduced myself and asked him where he was going. He said he didn’t know what to do and how to meet people. We chatted for a while and I suggested he come with me to the hotel lobby and I introduced him around. By Friday’s first-timer luncheon, he looked right at home and shared that he was so glad he had not gone upstairs that night.
First-timer moment – met Ali from Montreal, Canada in person after having only talked over Skype and briefly communicated via Facebook. It seemed like we already knew each other, as we had an instant connection.
Impact moment: seeing Anita from Sweden in person after several years. She told me that she heard from a lot of people that I have made an impact on their lives. That was a shared “cry” moment.
Impact moment: Tracy called me over to show me a picture on her cell phone that she has kept since last year. It is me wearing my tee-shirt that says “I Stutter. Deal With It.” She says she shows people that all the time. Made me feel really good!
Impact moment: had quite a few people come up to me and say “Are you Pam?” I’ve heard your name so much I really wanted to meet you in person.” So humbling to know that a lot of people know me from how “out there” I am.
Impact moment: chatting with the wife of a second-timer who stutters on the hotel veranda Saturday night. We got talking about how much she learned in such a short time. She said, “I never knew how much he really goes through with his speech, because he never told me. Being here has completely opened my eyes. I will be a more patient listener.” She had tears in her eyes.
Workshop: “Using Story Telling to Create a Culture” – participants paired up and shared a personal story with each other. It was so special to see the oldest guy in the room, a stutterer, paired up with the youngest guy in the room, a 14-year-old guy whose brother stutters. These two actively shared stories with each other, and then were seen exchanging contact information with each other.
First-timer moment: meeting Kervin (originally from St. Lucia) in the hallway of the hotel, as he stopped me and asked, “excuse me, what do we do now?” We chatted for a bit and I took him and introduced him to a bunch of people, who I later saw him with throughout the weekend. We touched base every day, and on the last day, he came up to me and told me he knows we are going to be great friends for a long time. We have already emailed each other since being home!
Impact moment: getting the chance to really spend time with Hanan (from Israel) and realize how much we have in common even though we come from different worlds.
First-timer moment: meeting Connie (from Alberta, Canada) who had emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me that she was scared to get up in front of others at an open mic session, but really wanted to do it. We had also talked on the phone before the conference, and talked about what to expect. I was so proud to see her speak with confidence at two open mic sessions.
It’s these little moments that paint the picture of how significant it is to come together in a community of support.
Episode 12 of the series of conversations with men who stutter features Lott Hughes, who hails from Temple, Texas. Lott served in the US Army for nine years and now works as an IT Specialist for the Veterans Administration.
Lott has a great story. As a tank driver in the Army, he felt that he was putting lives at risk when he was sometimes not able to communicate well.
His command sent him to a six-month intensive speech therapy program in Germany, which literally changed Lott’s life. It was there that he learned the fluency techniques that he needs to achieve his goal of 90-95% fluency.
Listen in as we discuss what has worked for him – facial muscle and breath control and handling his anxiety. Lott also got support from Toastmasters.
We talk about the upcoming NSA conference, and how his focus will differ than last year, his first time. Lott recently welcomed his first child into the world. He worries his son might stutter and wants to interact and learn from other parents.
I was happy that Lott shared his story with us, and look forward to meeting him in person at the 2012 NSA conference. Please feel free to leave comments or questions, for feedback is a gift.
The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
Episode 86 features Emily Gurdian, who hails from New Orleans, LA. Emily is 23 years old and a teacher. She is presently in graduate school at the University of Portland (Oregon) where she is pursuing Educational Leadership.
Listen in as we discuss a range of topics. We talk about teasing, mocking and dumb comments. We discuss being stunned into silence sometimes by hurtful comments about stuttering, and how we deal with it.
Emily also shares about what it is like to be a substitute teacher and constantly having to adapt to new kids.
Emily plans to focus her Master’s research on how stuttering affects a child’s entire academic performance. She chose this topic because it met her professor’s criteria of being interesting and important. And because communication affects every aspect of a child’s learning experience.
Be sure to listen in to this great conversation with a young teacher who is insightful and confident. Feel free to leave feedback for either of us, or let Emily know what a great job she did.
Podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
Episode 11 of the series of conversations with men who stutter features Frank Stechel, who hails from Highland Park, New Jersey. Frank worked for the New York State Education Department for over 30 years, in the vocational rehabilitation field.
Frank felt it was practical for him to work in the disability field, as he was concerned that he might not find work due to his stuttering. He felt it made sense to work for an agency that helped people with disabilities as they wouldn’t discriminate against him.
We talk about being open about stuttering, and how Frank always would bring it up and invite questions during job interviews. Being open has always been most important to Frank.
Listen in as we discuss different speech therapy experiences, including the Hollins fluency shaping program. Frank uses fluency shaping tools he learned to modify his stuttering. We also discuss the variability of stuttering and how he often plays with different techniques to this day.
I look forward to meeting Frank and his wife at the National Stuttering Association conference in July of this year. Feel free to leave comments and feedback for Frank, or just thank him for sharing his story.
Music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.
Episode 10 of the conversations with men who stutter features Landon Murray, who hails from New Orleans, LA. Landon is in school studying process engineering. He has also been the leader for the New Orleans chapter of the National Stuttering Association for the last two years.
Landon shares the story of how his fiance got him to go to his first stuttering support meeting and how that first meeting changed his life. He also talks about how he and she met!
We talk about confidence and self-image. Landon didn’t always have such an easy time, and shares how tough it was for him when he was younger. He also shares how he would sometimes “change himself” in order to fit in. And he shares about the “tons” of fights he’s had due to stuttering.
Listen in as we chat about dealing with being made fun of, educating others about stuttering, being comfortable in your own skin and acceptance.
Feel free to leave feedback in the comment section, or just let Landon know what a great job he did.
Credit for the music used in this episode goes to ccMixter.
(Producer note: There was background noise/echo in this track that I could not edit. However, the conversation with Landon was so great that I dropped my usual standards of perfection. As I’ve said in the past, sue me!)