Monday, April 7, 2014

Cerebral Palsy Speech: URB NOT HERB

I've written on occasion about the effects Cerebral Palsy has on my speech. 

I had speech therapy from the time I was able to talk through 6th grade. I was so relieved when I was informed that I didn't have to endure it through high school.  My speech was going to be as good as it was thanks to my speech therapist.

My speech therapist was Mrs Ackal. She was so patient and kind  She would come to the school once a week armed with all kinds of goodies to give to her students for our efforts. She had Mom and I make flash cards of the alphabet and certain phonic sounds with velvett cloth. Mom and I went through the flash cards ever night. Mrs Ackal would have her students close their eyes and feel the letters and say what they were. She taught me how to  move my tongue correctly to articulate my words and sounds to the best of how my brain allowed.

Some of the other kids who did not need speech therapy verbalized how "lucky" I was and how they wished they could get out of class like I did.  Unbeknowst to them I was working just as hard. It also made me feel more of an outcast.

I don't have any speech therapy records but I have seen "dyspraxia" and"articulation" problems in doctor's notes.
Dyspraxia is understanding language, but due to muscle coordination there is an inability to consistently and correctly pronounce words. Thankfully, I have only a few of those.

MEMORABILIA is one. My CP brain freezes or gets jumbled.  I want to say Memorable, which does not come out right either  or some off the wall version. The "or" is the culprit. I ask the person who I am talking with to say it then I try.  I have found I'll try 1-3 times because there is that rare occasion the brain cooperates and I can say it. But other times, I laugh and say, "That's it!" Or with Hubby I'll tell him to say it.

Articulation is adding or omitting required sounds, distorting sounds. I would sound out c instead of z. 

Speech therapy was not my favorite thing to do at that time.  I now know it has helped. I continue to have some articulation problems and people who do not know me tend to not understand me as well. I learned although that is frustrating at times because I feel I am talking clearly, the most important thing is the important people in my life do.

Yesterday Hubby and I were talking and I was saying HERBS but as you know the pronunciation is URBS. MyHubby smiled and looked at me. I kept saying HERBS but in the back of my mind I had fleeting thoughts that it did not sound right. After a few more mispronunciations Hubby gently corrected me. The bell went off in my brain. 

I tend to forget the ways CP affects me. When something like that happens I usually don't think that it happens specifically from the CP. I rarely use my Cerebral Palsy as an excuse, except in fun sometimes, like yesterday I thought it was the only feasible way to explain why URBS would not articulate in my brain. Maybe there is a lapse somewheres between my brain and mouth. 

I did something I hardly do, I blamed it on my Cerebral Palsy! I think it was the only feasible logical reason..don't you?

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