In grade school I had a friend named nick. Teachers would always call him out because he was scared to read in front of the class. From the beginning his self confidence was low. He was very shy and didn't talk to many people, and if someone new tried talking to him he would take a long time to feel comfortable with them. Nick had a stuttering problem. Whenever he was in front of a large group of people his voice would lock up and he would shut down. His self confidence was destroyed in the 8th grade when a teacher made him stand up in front of the whole grade, all 225 of us. He was alone and he shut down completely botching his graduation speech. I talked to him afterwards and he said he had never felt so sick before in his life. His confidence was no longer existence, he shut eve the people who were closest to him out.
People with speech impediments and other problems with speaking and writing have severe problems with their self confidence. They feel as though they are not normal. But what is normal? Is there a direct definition that labels these impediments as not normal? Normal is defined as standard, usual, typical or expected. But how do we define normal? Society's normal is, if people are all the same they are normal. Any defining feature or change to their personal, or physical appearance warrants them to be “not normal.” There is a story written by Mike Rose called “I just want to be average,” And that is a direct quote from the story that points out how people who are not seen as normal feel about their surroundings. People who are not “Average” or “Normal” can feel like somewhat of a group of outcasts. They are separated from the mainstream classes and put in their own “Vocational Track” which means d-level learning which does not help. In d level classes you are not treated as a human being, and you are certainly not respected by the people who are teaching you. This very easily make these students feel like they do not matter. This is why many of them act out or show off, in an attempt to get the attention that they so desperately need. If people took their time to sit down with these students and try to help them, they would not feel the need to act out and do bad things to get someone's attention.
My older cousin Nicky had a speech problem when he was younger. It was hard for him, he was teased and put in a special learning class. A teacher sat down with him one on one and walked him through how to cope with stuttering. He told me it was one of the hardest things he has ever done, but having a teacher to help him and calm him down when he got annoyed or angry with himself, helped push him through the problem. Today he is an officer in the United States Navy, and has no problem whatsoever with speech.
With proper learning strategies and help, people with speech problems and other disabilities can feel like they are part of this so called normal society.