The Columbia SC group met last night at the USC Speech & Hearing Center. 9 were in attendance: Charley, Greg, Amit, Erin, Al, Ron, Keyisha, Alice Anne, and Nathan. This included 3 SLPs, 1 grad student, and 7 PWS. Extra kudos to Al, who was back for the first time in over a year, and Nathan, who drove over an hour in a downpour!
Keyisha volunteered to read the Welcoming Words (before she realized how long they were); nonetheless, she did a super job. We followed with our tradition of introducing the person to our left, then jumped in with good news. Erin and Amit have upcoming vacations planned, and Charley let everyone know that Tripp’s father had successful surgery, and was home recovering in record time (Tripp is one of our long time members).
Our first discussion topic was, “Is stuttering a disability?” Charley brought it up as a hot discussion topic from the listserv, and everyone shared opinions. Al preferred the term ‘handicap’, though there was some speculation that this was perhaps because he has difficulty saying words beginning with ‘D’. (-: He also pointed out that such labels imply that the individual will never recover from the condition – a message the group generally felt could be dangerous with younger clients.
This led to a discussion of ‘recovery’ from stuttering – what would that mean? Keyisha stated that a PWS who speaks like a non-PWS is recovered. Ron used the term ‘control’ to describe a recovered PWS. Al noted that recovery isn’t ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but rather a continuum. And Amit described recovery as the ‘absence of fear’ for speaking.
Finally, we spent the balance of the evening discussing our new website: http://nsacolumbiasc.wordpress.com/
Amit has done a fantastic job setting it up, and is (slowly) teaching Charley how it works and how to manage it. We went into the student computer lab of the Center, and we were all like kids in a candy store as we examined it from several monitors. It’s good now, but will be a lot better soon. We are especially excited about the Weblog feature! I strongly encourage other chapters to set up a website if they don’t have one yet.
Finally, Amit read the closing words, and we were on our way.
Thanks for listening, and please visit our website!
NSA Chapter Leader, Columbia, SC