Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Simple repetition was supposed to be enough

It was first grade and they were determining what books we were able and allowed to read. We were sorted into levels, to make it easy for the teacher to know what we wouldn't be given something too difficult.

"Read a page, and hold up a finger when you can't say the word, if you reach five words go down a level". It didn't matter if I know the meanings.

Later on they put me into speech, but by then my book level was already decided.

Someone came once a week and took me down to an office. The flip book set up, read the words. They were always the same words. Like simple repetition would make me start speaking properly.

"No, that's wrong, say this"
"That's what I just said"
repeat after me - elongated sounds - like that makes a difference
I say exactly what I've been saying, because I hear no difference.

Like simple repetition would make me start speaking properly.

Why should I expect things like actually telling me more than that I'm wrong? Like how I'm different than you, or how to do what you want me to do? Or anything at all more than, you're wrong, try again, say the same words. You know the list. It's time to tell me that people like me are wrong. Simple repetition should make me start speaking properly.

Years pass, with weekly sessions. I get used to people telling me my speech is wrong, in speech therapy, bullies who want to find anything different about me, people just saying it without thinking about the affects of their words.

They want to fix my speech, make it normal. I'm getting tired of not even knowing why I'm going. Apparently sometimes I can't say "cold" different than "cod" or "thhhh" different than "ssss" but those I know because people have commented on them being better now. Nobody tells me what I'm doing wrong, just that it's wrong.

Telling me it's wrong should be enough to make it better.

Is it like they think I'm choosing to speak wrong? Willful disobedience? Is that why it's not important to give me details of what I'm supposed to do.

Years pass.

Nine years after my first speech therapist, someone listens to the fact that I don't hear a difference between what I'm saying and what they're saying. She starts using a tape recorder in some of the sessions to let me hear the difference.

Nine. Years. Later.

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