self-help in Slovakia From: Rebecca Hubbling Date: 10/5/99 Time: 1:32:53 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments I am a graduate student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. First of all, I would like to tell you that I am very impressed with your efforts to make your self-help group successful in Slovakia. Your article was very interesting and you should be complemented on your hard work. As I read your article, I thought of a few questions to ask you. How did you handle the situation of the middle-aged man who attended one of your self-help group meetings? Did you discuss this situation within the group? How did other members of the group respond to such negativity? How would you have handled it if this person had wanted to continue attending meetings? Do you have any ideas concerning how you would handle a situation like this if it presented itself again? Being a college student about your age, I also wondered what obstacles (if any) you have encountered as a result of your age? Thank you for your article and your time. I appreciate your participation! I wish you the best of luck in the future! Re: self-help in Slovakia From: Tomas Simko Date: 10/8/99 Time: 6:14:42 AM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Dear Rebecca, thank you for your response. To your questions: After one meeting together with Miro(leader of the group) we wanted to talk to that guy about his influence on the group. Eventionally we decided not to, because everybody had the right to attend meetings and I think it would have been unfair to him. Fortunately he did not turn up any more. I think if he had kept coming we would have been forced to talk to him and in the worst case to ask him to leave. We did not discuss this problem within the group. Majority of the group is fairly passive, so they put up with it. They would accomodate to any situation. If it happens again I think immediately after the first meeting with that person I would talk to that person and explain the situation to him/her. I had encountered no obstacles as a result of my age. I hope I answered all your questions. I wish you all the best. Awareness From: Kelly R. Birken Date: 10/5/99 Time: 1:38:26 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments I am a graduate student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Like you, I am always short on time and I commend you for taking the time to start your association in Slovakia. I found your article to be very interesting. When reading your article, a question came to mind. I was wondering what steps you are taking, if any, to increase awareness of stuttering in your country? Are you doing anything to promote your association? It seems like you are off to a great start! I am very impressed with your efforts. Re: Awareness From: Tomas Simko Date: 10/8/99 Time: 6:23:46 AM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Dear Kelly, I plan to establish stuttering association next year in the spring. At the moment there are no steps taken to increase awareness of stuttering in Slovakia. Being happy From: Judy Kuster Date: 10/11/99 Time: 8:17:18 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments You said, "I do not need to overcome stuttering in order to become happy." How did you come to that important realization at such a young age, Tomas? What did the BSA do to help you find that out and how did you find the BSA when you were in England? Did someone tell you about them or what? Judy Re: Being happy From: Tomas Simko Date: 10/18/99 Time: 11:54:00 AM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments I came to that important fact in England. Stuttering itself does not bother me. But its consequences do. Actually all I need is freedom in speeking, so that I am not dependent on my speech. And that I can reach without overcoming stuttering. BSA simply helped me understand that it is no good to wait for a miracle, because none will occur. Lady, who I worked for, showed me once an advertisment in the newspaper about an intensive speech course held in London. I went for it. It was too expensive for me, but I started looking for any sort of help for stutterers and that was how I found the BSA. Meeting activities and drawing out quiet members From: Judy Kuster Date: 10/11/99 Time: 8:18:47 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Thank you for sharing several of your good ideas that you use in your meetings -- everyone telling how his speech has changed since the last meeting, role playing telephone calls, reading, and practicing what was learned in speech therapy. Do all the members participate freely in all of those activities or are some members pretty quiet? If that is the case, do you have suggestions for getting some of the others more willing to participate? Re: Meeting activities and drawing out quiet members From: Tomas Simko Date: 10/18/99 Time: 12:03:28 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments All the members are very passive in meaning they do not come up with suggestions, they have no new ideas what to do, they put it all on Miro. But on the other hand, in all activities they participate freely and they do not need to be pushed to it. Self-help in Czech republic From: Jiri Mazoch Date: 10/16/99 Time: 2:58:44 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Hello Tomas, Your article was very interesting and I would like to contact you by e-mail. My name is Jiri Mazoch and I am 43 years old. I am from Czech republic, city Brno. I apologize for my English, I did not write in English for many years, but I can read quite well. We can write in our native languages. This e-mail I write in English, if anybody wants to read it. I have been stuttering since the age of 7 years old. In the beginning it was very little, but step by step my speech grew worse and at the age of 15 I begun to stutter severely. In many situations I could not speak at all. I had many therapies with logopedist, some of them in hospitals, my speech became better, but in the real world it always became very bad. In all cases it was individual cure and I think, that I needed group therapy. Nobody told me, that the stuttering cannot be cured. I had no literature about it. I knew only a few stutterers with very mild stutter. I thought, that I am alone. I did not accept my stuttering and I was very ashamed for my speech, but I did not know what to do. I talked very little and I created my own internal world. I stopped to cure my stuttering. I shall not write about my problems during study on secondary school and then technical university and in my occupation. This year I bought Czech translation of the book of Richard Parent „Une synthese de nos connaissances sur le begaiement“, in Czech „Jak žít s koktavostí“. This is the only book in Czech about stuttering of adults. This book changed my view of stuttering. I decided to fight again. I started to get information on internet, now I know, that I am not alone. In summer I was one week in logopedical clinic in Brno, where I met 3 stutterers in age 21-58 years old. I want to establish a self-help group in Brno. One self-help group named „Balbus“ is in Olomouc, I began to contact them. You wrote, that Czech republic has a national association, but I know nothing about it. In the list of International stuttering association members (updated September 23, 1999) there is no Czech association. Do you know anything about it? Can you give me detailed information about organization of self-help group in England and about your self-help group in Slovakia? I also would be very pleased, if you give me information about the most interesting literature on stuttering. I wish you all the best. Jiri Mazoch Kosmova 11 612 00 Brno Czech republic E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Re: Self-help in Czech republic From: Stefan Hoffmann, ISA, Beijing Date: 10/17/99 Time: 5:48:32 AM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Hello, I am Stefan from International Stuttering Association Outreach Group. ISA is eager to find new friends in countries without National Association. I suggest you contact our Outreach Chair Jaan Pill (email@example.com) who has a lot of contact addresses all over the world. I am in CHina now and find more and more people who stutter in Asia. We should be much closer together, as we all have precious experiences. Best regards Stefan Re: Self-help in Czech republic From: Jiri Mazoch Date: 10/20/99 Time: 2:29:03 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Hello Stefan, thank you for contact address. Re: Self-help in Czech republic From: Tomas Simko Date: 10/18/99 Time: 12:09:19 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Dear Jiri, I am glad you want to establish a self-help group in Brno. I will try to get some relevant information for you and I will contact you through your personal e-mail Re: Self-help in Czech republic From: Jiri Mazoch Date: 10/20/99 Time: 2:30:12 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Hello Tomas, thank you, I shall be looking forward to your letter.