Apraxia and Anxiety

Will they understand me? Am I too loud? Was that the right word? Do I really sound that way? What if they think I am yelling? What if they think I am slow? What if, what if what if?

These are just some of the thoughts that echo through my head everyday. The fears of a adult woman living with Apraxia and Anxiety, the fears of being a public speaker with Apraxia and Anxiety. These two conditions are often seen together. Why you may ask.

Well I am no scientist or doctor but I believe a large portion of the reason us people with Apraxia suffer from Anxiety along side other mental health issues is because of the basic fact that other people are commonly uneducated about Apraxia.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me to “stop sounding silly” when I talk, or to “stop yelling” or “stop talking so loud” or the one that hurts me the most “you shouldn’t be a speaker, your voice is annoying”. It is these comments that create Anxiety when it comes to our voices, and causes us to be excluded and looked at differently.

When I was a child in school, high school and elementary, my peers and teachers often commented on how I sounded. Teachers often would never read my IEP or take the time to see if I even had one, there for I started every first day of term answering the same question over and over again, why do you have a laptop? Which embarrassed me as I needed to explain in front of everyone that I had Apraxia a speech impediment and therefore struggled at spelling. This was the start of my Anxiety, panic over being judged by not only my peers but my teachers as well.

So now here I am several years after finishing school and those questions of fear and anxiety still bonce around my head. I still hear the rude remarks and comments that have followed me through the years.

It is said that Apraxia and Anxiety are often comorbid conditions, but I ask WHY does it have to be that way? Can we educate our teachers, adults and children alike to not judge. To not draw attention to our difference, to not question how we sound. But to stand along side each-other and support one other for our strengths not our weaknesses?

Please let me be the LAST Apraxia Adult who has Anxiety, the last one to hear those questions bounce around my head. The last one to fear there own voice in a classroom. The last one to hear those ugly comments and questions about “why I can’t normal”. Let me be the last, let there be NO MORE!

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