Educating Myself on Communication Disorders

Sarah Rodriguez, Contributor

As senior project tasks and deadlines approach, I find myself having to explain to many people about what my topic is. Only about half of the people I talked to knew what communication disorders were and when I told people I was interested in speech therapy, a few even asked me if that meant training people on how to give speeches. This made me realize there there is a lack of knowledge regarding communication disorders and what they entail. These disorders are present with people whose speech is impaired for physical, mental, or cognitive reasons. Some examples of types of communication disorders include people who have a stutter, a lisp, cleft lip, cleft palate, brain damage, an autism spectrum disorder, or are mute.

It is very important to stay informed about such sensitive topics since there are many students at this school who have to live with the struggles of communicating. Talking with some of these students and hearing of their experiences was enlightening. It was especially hard to hear that some of them were even bullied in the past for their speech ailments and had low confidence because of it.

One person who has really opened my eyes to this topic was Ms. Sandra Amate, a La Serna Special Education teacher. She has been extremely friendly and approachable to any questions I have ever had. The lunch clubs she conducts on Fridays are always welcoming and open to anyone. What I have taken from this experience is that I encourage all students to be aware and to be kind. Empathy goes a long way and can make anyone’s day.