Lessons from NSA..

I was advised by a friend to check out old NC of NSA, for more ideas. Granted that there are many differences between TISA and NSA, here is what I discovered and was positively impressed by.

The sessions they plan are many, diverse, cater to different age groups and often run parallel. This offers choices to audience. For example look at this “day at a glance” from their four day NC 2011. There is a good mix of interesting topics and speakers instead of constant preoccupation with just therapy and “is there a cure?”. Look at these  topics, which are bound to be of great interest to young pws:
1. Falling in Love with a Person who Stutters (Maria Dowling)
2. When a Covert and Overt Marry (Hannah Laday)
3. How to find a job (or simply advance your career) (Jeff Goodman)

Then, they have something for families too:
4. Cattle call! (families meet on 1st Floor outside Trinity Ballroom Foyer)

And they have sessions by practicing SLPs too:
5. CEU: You are Changed by What you Do (Vivian Sisskin)

They have something for chapter leaders too, since NSA runs 100 (yes, HUNDRED) self help groups across USA! That is where their ideas, support and participation comes from. If population were a criteria, we should have four times that ie. 400 functioning SHGs in India! 

So, how do they do all this? I think one secret is Self help groups, Therapists (represented by ASHA), Families, Children- all come together and collaborate in a big way. They forget their differences and come together for a BIG effort in the larger interest. People, organisers as well as busy Clinicians, give commitment of time well in advance. Participants too register well in advance (-large numbers from 100 SHGs) so that organizers know the number of young children, adolescents, adults, family members well in advance and are able to plan content and logistics WELL.For example, the 2011 NC was attended by 870 participants, of which 300 were the first timers! Wow!
Well I have learned a lot! Thank you NSA! Here is a video from 2011 Texas NC:

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