The National Stuttering Association (NSA) was created to provide information and support to children and adults who stutter, their loved ones, and professionals who work with them.
With over 4,000 members nationwide, a network of more than 50 active support groups, and programs and materials on stuttering admired and copied all over the world, the NSA has done a great deal to provide hope and dignity to all who stutter, and to educate the general public on the nature of this most frustrating and misunderstood disorder.
Those not able to meet in support groups, enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on their stuttering experience in our monthly publication, Letting GO.
Letters poured in from every state-and from around the world- from adults, parents of children who stutter, and professionals who felt ill- equipped to help their clients who stuttered. The stories these letters told were full of tragedy, frustration, confusion and despair. But many had one message in common: "Thank you," they said, "thank you so much for letting me know I am not alone."
This sentiment echoes throughout most of our mail and in the reflections members write in Letting GO. First and foremost what the NSA does is to let those who stutter know that the problem that has haunted their lives is one shared by 2-3 million Americans. That knowledge gives them the "permission," the "right" to have a stuttering problem. This might sound strange, but many people who stutter surround their stuttering with so much guilt, fear and shame, that they lack the ability to do anything constructive about it, including seeking therapeutic help.
The articles, letters, and stories published each month can range from the tragic, to the comic, to the triumphant, all designed to instill a sense of solidarity, empathy, and confidence in our members. Letting GO makes you cry, laugh, and reflect, but, most importantly, it will make you feel better about yourself, inspiring you to more freedom of action (and speech).
You will find a list of other brochures, books, and tapes in the NSA Offerings brochure. There is something for everyone, parents, teenagers, teachers, professionals, significant others, and the general public.
Part of our work involves advocating for the proper understanding and portrayal of stuttering in the media. The NSA has served as consultant on television programs depicting people who stutter, and we try to be heard whenever stuttering is misrepresented. The NSA has also helped people who stutter fight job discrimination.
The NSA celebrates National Stuttering Awareness Week each May. We were instrumental in getting this Week established by an act of Congress in 1988.
The NSA holds Workshops throughout the country. These events, which bring together members of the stuttering community to explore various aspects of stuttering, are very popular. The highlight of our year comes at the NSA Annual Convention where hundreds of members gather each June for four days of sharing, learning, healing, and just plain fun.
"There are not words to fully express how Letting GO enriches my life and provides me with a never-ending source of strength and courage. It makes me laugh, cry, reflect, and above all else, ponder the wonder of just how special my brothers and sisters in stuttering are." - Gail Knowles, Rochester, NY.
"The day I joined the NSA I learned that, in fact, I'm not the only one who stutters, and I have begun an unbelievable journey." - Debbie Karwowski, Wading River, NY.
"The NSA's support and strength have made a tremendous difference in how I see my son Michael, and the fact that he stutters. I can see and feel the difference in Michael because of this awareness and so, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, my family thanks you, and Michael thanks you." - Lee Gaggero, Commack, NY.
"No words can describe my gratitude to all of you. In my most frustrating speech moments, I always end up thinking of the wonderful people of the NSA and I realize I am not alone." - Najib Baadj, West Springs, MA.
"I have been a speech-language pathologist for 28 years and the NSA Convention in Washington, D.C. was the most moving experience of my professional life." - Barbara Stern, Severna Park, MD.
"Because of the NSA I did something I never expected from myself-I spoke openly about my stuttering for the first time in public in a report to my English class. I felt like a winner. I am very grateful to the people in the NSA who believed in me. I realized that if I could overcome a fear that big, I could do anything." - Vlad Tchekanov, 17 years old, Miami, FL.
National Stuttering Association 5100 East La Palma Ave. Suite 208 Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 800-364-1677 FAX 714-693-7554