The First Virtual FRIENDS Convention
Our mission continues to be what it has always been—to provide support and education to young people who stutter, their families, and clinicians. Instilling a sense of empowerment, providing an environment where feelings of isolation disappear and growing confidence and self-esteem continues to be the foundation of our vision. We want our young people who stutter to know they are strong, they have support, they are not alone, and they have FRIENDS who will listen to them.
Join us for the 23rd Annual Friends Convention, which will take place virtually on June 18-20. It was with heavy hearts that we cancelled the in-person annual convention this year, originally planned to be in Baltimore, MD, due to necessary precautions surrounding COVID-19. However, we are excited to offer this virtual alternative, which will allow for continued support, connection, and joy with FRIENDS. Please toggle through the menu above for more information, including registration, convention schedule, and scholarships. Below are reflections and snippets from past conventions.
For Kids and Teens
Increase your confidence
Meet others who stutter
Find role models who stutter
Have fun talking!
Learn about stuttering
Meet other parents & share experiences
Hear tips and support from fellow parents & young people who stutter
Join in roundtable discussions
Find out what you can do to support your child
For SLPs & Teachers
Receive invaluable education from experts and researchers
Gain more confidence in working with people who stutter & their families
Learn more about stuttering, effective social/clinical strategies, & support services
Rick Arenas' Keynote Address
Watch Rick Arenas’ keynote address at the 22nd Annual Friends Convention in Rosemont, IL, held in July of 2019. Rick introduces the idea of the Iceberg Beast.
Michael Boyle's Keynote Address
Read excerpts and key points from Michael Boyle’s 2019 Keynote Presentation at the 22nd Annual Friends Convention in Rosemont, IL. The talk was titled “My story of stuttering: Memories, lessons learned, and advice.”
Read 2019 Convention Reflections
“I truly believe that FRIENDS teaches people how to be better listeners, more empathetic and advocate for what they want/believe in — all of which are and continue to make the world a better place.”
Why attend a Friends Convention? We partnered with researchers at the University of Iowa to understand the positive impact our conventions have on young people who stutter. They found the following five results:
- Children and teenagers built strong relationships and a sense of community in a safe environment.
- Collaborative learning facilitated personal growth.
- Communicative and cognitive changes persisted beyond the convention.
- Hearing and sharing personal stories increased self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
- Living with stuttering can be hard, but the convention helped normalize stuttering.
FRIENDS: The National Association for Young People Who Stutter is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)3.
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