Stuttering Support Group Aids ‘Misunderstood Challenge’

by: Brett Marshall

“If you stutter, you are not alone.” That’s the slogan of the National Stuttering Association (NSA), an organization that has a presence at Minnesota State and wants to help students and community members who have a stutter.

“Stuttering is a complex and often misunderstood challenge that can effect a person’s ability to say what they say and when they want to say it,” Jeff Glessing, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Speech, Hearing, & Rehabilitation Services, said.

The NSA campus group consists of a combination of adults in the Mankato community and MSU students that have a stutter. It’s estimated that about one percent of the adult population has a stutter, which translates to there being about 150 students at the University being affected by stuttering.

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Glessing says that stuttering “can hamper a person’s ability to participate in classroom activities, form relationships with peers and hinder networking for personal and professional growth.” He hopes the University’s NSA chapter can be a resource for students who are scared to confront their stutter.

“Talking with others who have experienced stutter can be valuable to taking steps to lessen the challenge stuttering often presents,” Glessing said. “As a person who stutters myself, I remember one of the hardest things was to open up about my stuttering with others. Doing so changed my life immensely.”

The support group meets once a month on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 and discusses issues relating to life as a person who stutters. He encourages anyone who stutters to consider attending an NSA meeting.

To get involved with the NSA chapter at the University, you can contact Jeff Glessing by email jeffrey.glessing@mnsu.edu or by phone 507-272-2752. Additional information about the chapter can be obtained from the Minnesota State Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic at 507-389-5224.  You can find additional information about the NSA by visiting their website www.westutter.org.

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