Hangouts for a Cause

Alalia Syllabaris is Cool After All

Tonight, by pure accident, we stumbled upon an incredible example of social interaction at its finest. A group of people, getting together, in the comfort of their home, to connect with each other.

Most of you probably didn’t know that the Latin term for ‘stuttering’ is Alalia Syllabaris, don’t worry, I didn’t either. However, I bet you can name at least one friend, family member or colleague that deals with stuttering/stammering or has dealt with it in their past.

Stutter Social (http://www.stuttersocial.com) is a website that was founded by +David Resnick and +Daniele Rossi to help people that deal with stuttering connect with each other from around the world. Tonight, we stumbled into their hangout and unlocked some secrets to their special clan.

+David Resnick, the co-founder of Stutter Social was one of two of the groups’ members that was initially in the hangout when we entered. The other participant was a former stuttering sufferer, +Mike Lee. I asked Mike how he came upon Stutter Social and he wittily replied, “I don’t know, how’d you guys get here?”

Touché, +Mike Lee, touché.

The group started in the last week of August and they host two hangouts a week. According to David, five to nine people usually show up, some repeat and some first times visitors. They’re people from all over the world.

“We’ve had people from India, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK,” +David Resnick said. “It’s a pretty neat way for people [to connect].”

David provided an example of how Stutter Social blurs boarders and brings in people that wouldn’t normally find acceptance in their local communities: “In India, social attitudes towards stuttering are totally different and sometimes people who stutter in India have never met others that stutter. It’s kind of an empathetic exchange that happens and its really cool to see.”

“I grew up in Korea–stuttering–and I know where he’s coming from,” +Mike Lee said in response to David’s comment. “I think the number one problem outside of the US is awareness.”

Inside of the United States there are several organizations that help people that suffer from stuttering connect and cope. One of the most notable organizations is the National Stuttering Association which has chapters nation-wide.

After David and Daniele started Stutter Social they contacted a number of NSA chapter leaders asking to help spread the word and send notices out to their members. Instantly, their participation grew.

“It’s super convenient, I don’t have to drive anywhere. The hangouts go on for an hour or an hour and half. For people that have a busy schedule it’s really easy and convenient,” David said.

As we continued the conversation, which included +Cam Meadows, +P E Sharpe, +Paul Roustan, +Raleigh Burke and +Trey Ratcliff (to name a few), more and more people from Stutter Social were contacting David in private chat and asking to get into their own hangout.

One of the people, +Sasha Rayshubskiy, joined and stated, “I am a person who stutters and I am a scientist.” People that suffer from speech impediments, disabilities and other afflictions are all around us. They’re our doctors, our teachers, and even our scientists. Usually we don’t even notice it!

We’ve all heard the statistics that 1 out of every _ suffers from ___. Or that 3 out of ever _ are likely to develop ___ in their lifetime. We’ve heard of support groups for these ailments and in all seriousness, some of them sound very intimidating.

Enter Social Media

What if there was a way to get people from all over the world to join together, to chat, to hangout and share their stories and bond?

“Stuttering is something that isolates people, and hangouts connect them,” David said. “So that is the thing that I’m going for.”

Bravo, David, you have truly opened our eyes to an incredible and inspirational way to use social media to connect on a whole new level.

What Do You Think?

Is there a support group that you belong to? Have you connected with others online to talk about something that you all share in common? How do you think people that stutter can benefit from David’s hangout? Do you have any personal stories?

Take a moment and leave your comment below. Be sure to check out their website and share this post to help spread the messageWe can each make a difference every day, just by sharing…

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