Stuttering is a difference in the way someone talks. This difference is not well understood and often causes feelings of social and communicative isolation. For teens, especially, feeling a sense of belonging to a community that understands and accepts this difference is imperative. That's where TOPS comes in.
TOPS is a monthly social and support group for teens who stutter. Once a month an event email is sent out and interested and available teens attend. Events are generally held on weekends and are 2-4 hours in length.
The activities this last year have range from volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, to having a pizza party and game night, to bowling, to going to a Portland Escape Room. There is no cost for the group other than the cost of each month's individual activity ($0-30) and every month the attendees and their numbers vary, usually between 4-12 teens; and we are always looking to grow!
There is not a focus on speech therapy tools or fluency strategies but a general mission for teens who stutter to know other teens that stutter and to find their voices, have fun, and say what they want to say without the worry of judgment or impatience. The focus is on fun and friendship.
The power of having a peer group sharing the same unique difference in itself is comforting and empowering. We invite you and your teen to join in our laughter, friendship, and the TOPS community.