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Newly-Launched Local Chapter Of National Stuttering Association To Have First Meeting


A new local chapter of a nationwide support group for people who stutter is set to launch soon in Panama City.

Heidi Reynolds is currently a student pursuing her speech-language pathology degree online at Utah State University.

“And, I want to go for my doctorate and maybe find the cause of stuttering and how to help those who stutter find their confidence,” said Reynolds.

Since the age of five, the 22-year-old has had a stutter. She says typically people start to stutter when they go through a traumatic experience or, as in her case, they don’t know why. And, she says growing up in a small town, it’s hard meeting other people who stutter.

So, when she found out about the National Stutter Association—a group that supports people who stutter—she was excited to start a Panama City Chapter where she could create a place where people feel comfortable and are not judged.

“When I found out what the NSA [National Stutter Association] was, I found out that I could start a group here and I guess, I wanted to make a place where people who have always felt like they were the only ones and meet others because it’s hard to feel like you are the only one when you’re not,” added Reynolds.

Reynolds says she had a hard time growing up, in part, because she felt like no one else understood her as a person. But, she says at 21, she found herself, and she wants to share that with others. The first meeting will be held next Thursday, September 4th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lynn Haven Public Library.

Reynolds says the meetings are not only for people who stutter. She says they’re also for friends or parents of those who stutter, speech professionals who want to impart their knowledge, and anyone who want to learn more about stuttering.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.