Support Group Created for People who Stutter

March 4, 2010

A new support group for people who stutter began Wednesday, March 3. Meetings will continue to take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in 304 Ford Building. These meetings will provide a safe and friendly atmosphere for people who stutter and those affected by stuttering. People attending will meet others who stutter, be able to share experiences, practice speaking skills and work on moving forward with dignity and respect.

Meetings are open to anyone who stutters, family members, friends, speech-language pathologists, student speech-language pathologists or anyone with a special interest in stuttering. New members do not have to speak if they do not wish to and there is no requirement for a long term commitment to the group. The group will soon be recognized as a chapter of the National Stuttering Association.

Michael Boyle, a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, under the supervision of Gordon Blood, professor and department head of the same department created the group. Boyle and Blood recognize the need for this kind of support group on campus. Stuttering is a speech disorder that can negatively affect communication, social interactions, and general quality of life. Because stuttering is more inconspicuous than many other physical disabilities and is not visible until one begins speaking, many people who stutter think that they are alone. In fact, many other people stutter  -- about one percent of the population which is over 3 million Americans, but it may remain hidden due to fear of embarrassment or feeling different from others. Boyle stutters and hopes that this group will help others who stutter realize that they are not alone and that there are many positive things that can be done.

Those interested in attending the support group for people who stutter, please contact Michael Boyle at mpb227@psu.edu or (814) 867-1502.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.