My name is Vickie Drake and I am the parent of a person who stutters. The FRIENDS 2010 Convention in Chicago was our first convention. The convention provided the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world who have been affected in one way or another by stuttering. The workshops were educational and informative; the social activities were entertaining and FUN; and the keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz was interesting, entertaining and inspiring.

The convention provided my son with a comfort zone that he does not get to experience often. Even though one knows there are usually others like themselves in the world, it’s always a comfort to actually meet these others and share experiences with them.

All convention participants appeared to experience a wide array of emotions ranging from sadness to anger to pride and joy. The courage shown by individuals who stutter is truly inspiring. The dedication shown by professionals in the field of speech/language pathology who attended the convention is to be commended.

I’m grateful to FRIENDS for providing my son and I with the opportunity to grow, learn and share as we continue our journey. The experience was invaluable! Thank you.

Vickie Drake – August 2010

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