This was a year full of support, advocacy, and creativity —

here’s our review.

Friends in Ohio

We kicked off the year with a one-day conference in Ohio, welcoming 15 families and adults who stutter. What a great way to start the year!

Life on Delay

We celebrated the publication of John Hendrickson’s nationally acclaimed memoir Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter at the start of the year, and now, as the year comes to a close, Life on Delay has been named one of the best books of 2023 by The New Yorker!

“Drop the Needle”

We celebrated the creative visual story-telling and advocacy of Friends parent Scott Sheeler, who talked about his experience coming to acceptance with a child who stutters in a video titled Drop the Needle.

Friends in Chicago

Over 200 children, teens, and adults who stutter, parents, siblings, significant others, speech-language pathologists, and graduate students came together to explore the theme “Making Friends with Stuttering.”


Friends in Zoom Land

  • We held 41 free virtual groups, with…
  • 202 participants, of them…
  • 112 children and teens!
  • Plus, 80 people joined our inaugural virtual reunion a month after the convention!

Be sure to sign up for a virtual group in the new year by clicking here.


We granted over $10,000 in convention support to 12 families, thanks in large part to:

  • $3,160 crowdfunded by our community for scholarships in 2023
  • $1,500 donated by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
  • Totaling $4,660 raised just for scholarships!

Friends at ASHA

We had a strong presence at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual convention in November.

11 board members, adults who stutter, parents, and SLPs from our community presented to speech-language pathologists. They delivered talks on:

  • The Why and How of Including Parents in School-Age Stuttering Therapy: A Parent Panel
  • Observing the Unobservable: Depicting Stuttering Events
  • Stuttering Therapy: A Conversation on What We Do and Why We Do It
  • Addressing the Emotional Needs of Children and Adolescents with Communication Disorders

Pittsburgh Penguins Partnership

Thanks to our continued partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Bryan Rust’s Seats For Strength initiative, 40 families participated in the program in 2023, getting VIP tickets to attend a Penguins game and enjoying a post-game meet-and-greet with Bryan Rust! Bryan described meeting kids who stutter from the Friends community as “literally the coolest thing in the world.”

Remembering Lee

275 people from our stuttering community and beyond met virtually to process the profound loss of our fearless leader Lee Caggiano, whose unwavering devotion to people who stutter, families, and professionals reached thousands of lives. We’ve raised an unprecedented amount of donations in her honor to secure the future of Friends. Tom Caggiano, Lee’s husband, wrote to us about Lee’s incredible life’s work, as did Caryn Herring, our new executive director. Reuben Schuff is gathering memories of Lee to help guide and strengthen the core values of Friends going forward.

Now as we look ahead to 2024, stay tuned for expanded virtual events, a return of one-day conferences, and more advocacy and awareness building from our wonderful community.

We miss Lee terribly and hope we can show up for one another in the coming year with continued love, understanding, and solidarity.

Your support is critical to sustaining our 2024 programming. Please continue to share our campaign till the end of the year and tell your loved ones about Friends.

Do you have feedback on what Friends did well this year and what you’d like to see us do differently in the new year? If so, here’s a 5-minute anonymous survey you could complete! Your reflections on the past year will help guide us in the coming year and beyond.

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