I Have A Communication Disorder
Okay, lets get the elephant out of the room, I have communication disorders.
What is a communication disorder? A communication disorder is a vague wording for someone who has trouble communicating and has a difference in the communication portion of the brain. For me, I have Childhood Apraxia of speech (verbal Disapraia) as well as some others.
For me, my communication disorder means, I may sound different to some people and some words (to select people) are not understandable, I have trouble with grammar and spelling. But a communication or speech impediment does not mean I am less of a person or that I am “slow” my brain just doesn’t have the same ability to make sounds like yours.
Growing up I had to learn American Sign Language as well as a picture book to communicate because of how difficult it was to understand me because of this I was bullied growing up. (read My Story)
However, to this day I still face prejudice with my speech. I have been told while
Emceeing in crown and sash, that I should not be speaking because “I have a very annoying voice”. I have been told that I can not do certain jobs, and the one that hurts me the most is the comment that I should not be a pageant queen because I sound different.
Learning ASL and growing up with an impediment has made me a stronger person, as well as helped boost me choose my career path, I am in University for ASL Interpretation. If there were more people who learned the basics of ASL, even the alphabet, and more people had the patience and tried understand me and/or wait to see the image(s) I would point to it would have made a big difference to my self esteem.
If you meet someone on the street that sounds differently, signs or communicated in a “different” way, please take the time to listen, and attempt to understand and communicate. Don’t talk to us slowly, and don’t over-enunciate your words, speak as you would for anyone else. Try to understand them, and if you don’t be polite, ask them to repeat what they have said. If you still don’t understand try another form of communication, text, writing, pointing, etc. There are so many ways to communicate.
I have found my self apologizing in the past for my speech impediment feeling, belittled and defeated. However this is part of me and I will NOT APOLOGIZE for it anymore, why should I. I am proud to have my speech as I am a member of a small group of people who do.
With my Impediments, I have competed Internationally. And spoken Internationally. I walked on the Miss Royalty International stage, announcing proudly, Samantha, Canada. I placed extremely high in the panel interview. I have spoken on International Blog Talk Radio, at Teen Fest Canada, at Chicago Fashion week, many Local, provincial and National events and various School locations. And will be representing North America at Miss Royalty International in August and speaking during NYFW in September at the Live Out Loud Charity Show.
My impediments do not define me!