When I Accepted My Speech Impediment
Growing up I had a lot of insecurity about my speech impediment. I got called names like “stupid, “dumb” and “r*tard.” To top things off, I also had a condition called central auditory processing disorder, which made it even harder for me to communicate with other people. Both of these conditions made schoolwork very difficult, and my social life suffered because of the miscommunications that came from not being able to hear properly and not being able to pronounce words correctly.
For a while I started to not speak, because of how uncomfortable it was to hear my speech impediment and how scared I was to be called “stupid.” I would avoid talking while presenting a project. When I could I would try to communicate through email or text message, because then I didn’t have to worry about what other people thought of me or what I thought of myself.
Later on in high school, one of my favorite teachers told a student that it was wrong of them to make fun of the announcer’s accent, because he’s working his butt off trying to communicate with them. I realized that whether it was because of an accent or a speech impediment, what the kids did was wrong. I started to heal inside. I started to talk more freely, because I was no longer afraid.