Beating my speech problem

This is the story of a young person who stopped letting his speech problem win, and learnt a valuable lesson in acceptance.

Man looking into mirror with multiple reflections
I am glad that I had this impediment. It's a part of who I am and it's definitely made me more accepting of others.
I used to have a severe speech problem, which meant that most children and adults couldn't understand what I was saying. My brother was one of the few people who could understand me and he was assigned as the person who would communicate what I was trying to say to everyone else.

I endured years and years of speech therapy. My parents were determined to fix this problem and I went to a tiny little school with only 80 people in seven grades. I loved it there and I found my first real best friend. She saw past my speech problem and we just enjoyed playing.

When I was nine, I changed schools because my parents decided that I needed to enter a larger school environment because high school was nearing. My speech was about 80% right by then, there were only 10 or so sounds that I was still struggling with.

Bullied

I was being badly bullied in my final year of primary school, to the extent that I did not want to go to school anymore (which was unusual for a girl who wanted to go to school seven days a week!) and I started to notice my speech problem more because my self-esteem was quite low.

The support that my speech teacher and my family gave me was what really helped me overcome the bullying that I was going through. I had little help from teachers at school so I relied heavily on my family, especially my mum and dad. Frequently we would also discuss the situation at speech therapy to gain a different insight into the bullying and how to make things better for me, which was what I needed.

I'm glad I had this

Today, I am 17 and I have not gone back to speech therapy. Many people actually don't think that I have a speech problem at all - they just think I have a lisp or a strong accent. Sometimes I am self-conscious of it, but most of the time it doesn't bother me. I even do public speaking, debating and am not nervous speaking in front of a crowd at all, in all honesty I am one of the best public speakers in my grade.

Even though dealing with a bad speech problem was a massive challenge and was very difficult, I am glad that I had this impediment. It's a part of who I am and it's definitely made me more accepting of others.

I have not reached perfection, but I don't want to anymore, after all 'there is no such thing as perfect' and I don't want to be nothing.

Last reviewed: 25 July, 2012
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