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The stuttering patient: Stuttering and health care

This is a summary and review of the article "A Simple Case Of Chest Pain: Sensitizing Doctors To Patients With Disabilities" by Leana S. Wen, from Health Affairs, October 2014.

Leana Wen Dr. Leana S. Wen

In the recent issue of Health Affairs, Dr. Leana S. Wen discusses the problems people with communication difficulties sometimes have getting adequate medical attention. As she is a person who stutters herself, she brings some insight to the problem. In the article, she relates a story that took place in the emergency ward of a hospital where she was working as an intern. Late at night, a man with chest pains was brought in. He stuttered badly when the senior resident talked to him, and the doctor walked away from him telling Leana to “talk slowly so he understands.”

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How to Survive Your First Conference

The Canadian Stuttering Association is having a one-day conference this month in Toronto. It will feature a number of speakers giving short presentations on stuttering, from personal stories to scientific research on the causes and treatments for stuttering. For more information, check out the website. Alexandra, a CSA board member, offers advice here for people who have never attended a conference for people who stutter.

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More NSA Conference reflections

Casey (2nd from right) and conference friends Casey (2nd from right) and conference friends

I stepped into a beautiful hotel lobby on a sunny Wednesday afternoon in Washington, DC. Almost immediately I could sense that this conference was going to be extraordinarily and terrifyingly special. I saw groups of people – hundreds of people – mingling, talking, and laughing. Old friends, spotting each other from across the room, excitedly called to each other to catch up on close friendships that had been put on hold since last July. Many “first-timers” were excitedly introduced to complete strangers as though they were family members not yet met. Others, like myself, stood for a few seconds on the sidelines with suitcases, watching in awe.

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Five highlights of the 2014 NSA conference

Casey (2nd from right) and conference friends Conference attendees at a tour of the Capitol Building

No, not the National Security Agency – I’m not a spy. It wasn’t the National Speakers Association either, although, funnily enough, it did hold its conference during the same time.

Last week, I attended the 2014 National Stuttering Association (NSA) conference in Washington, D. C.

Almost 1,000 folks worldwide – including people who stutter (PWS), their loved ones and speech-language pathologists – gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown D.C., making it the NSA’s largest conference.

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My trip to Washington for the NSA conference

On the terrace of Washington's Newseum On the terrace of Washington's Newseum

The 2014 NSA Conference was a huge success. It took place in the beautiful and historic city of Washington, DC, and was the biggest conference ever with just over 970 attendees. It was my first time at the conference and was a truly memorable experience. There were many interesting people to meet and talk to, things to do in the city and interesting workshops and social events to attend.

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