I never did mind Speech disorders, not until I took a course on the bases of speech. This course discussed the scientific approach of the production of speech. I took it last year and until now, I continuously find it very useful in communicating to my family, peers, and to all the people around me.
Learning a certain speech disorder known as Phonological Disorder made me realize the importance of proper Speech Production.
According to C. Bowen, Phonological disorders involve a difficulty in learning and organizing all the sounds needed for clear speech, reading and spelling. One of the factors of this disorder is due to improper training of speech production during the pre-school years of the child, plus of course, the fact that it can be hereditary.
The safe thing about this is that this ailment can still be treated. The sad thing though is that what actually one thought to be ordinary and normal is actually an illness that needs treatment; or else be totally disabled.
I have two friends, both have speech disorders. The first one, she had a difficulty in pronouncing letter /r/ so that every time she mentions her name, she says Mawie instead of Marie. She’s already college now, same age as I do but she has not worked this problem out. This girl did not and does not pay more closely with regards to her speech disorder. Until now, she just treats it normal, “the way it is” for her. Other than letter /r/, her pronunciation is already fine though.
The other friend of mine is a communication student. He had bad pronunciation skills that we tend to correct him most of the time. He mispronounced certain words so that sometimes misunderstanding arises between and among him and his friends. For instance, when he speaks up something, his friends may interpret what he just said differently from what actually it should mean. Until he worked it out. He practices his pronunciation and improves it. He took up speech courses that would train and expose him to proper pronunciation techniques. Good thing about him is that he consults help from his professors and colleagues if he is doubtful on some matters pertaining to his problem. He seeks advices to his friends. He keenly recognizes his mistakes and acknowledges his friends’ assistance. Now, he is more than okay. He already pronounces the words well.
I presented these two cases of speech disorders because I found it relevant in learning the importance of speech at least for individuals who are very particular in their voice and diction skills. My point is that even the worst speaker in this world can still have his speech skills remedied, only if he’ll treat it seriously and should avail to solution that will disentangle him from his worst pronunciation habits. I believe that my generation today needs proper awareness even up to the most basic mode of communicating. One way to become a competent person is to be confident, of course in handling yourself and in conveying information to people. How else can a person be confident if he himself from deep within him doubts his speaking and persuading abilities because he has poor accent? Too bad, especially when you see everything is perfect in you yet there is just this one thing, one easy thing just not right.
As what I’ve said, it’s not really a terrible problem at all because you can still treat it, even your letters /r/ and /s/ anxieties. How? Just my second friend did. Though very cliché, we must admit that practice makes perfect. Let us admit errors, make these lapses motivate you as you bring yourself to the way to achieving your target. Be confident in handling yourself. How else can you gain other people’s confidence in you if you don’t have one? Above all, be yourself. Your hard work is worthless if after all you become another you because you think you become great more than others are.
The primary tool for communication is language; therefore as speakers (because we ARE speakers), it is a must to know even the very basic of speech. The youth of today should take necessary measures to obtaining this vital matter. The gain for this sensitivity will be beneficial for the upliftment of our personalities as Filipinos, when our time comes.