Thursday, August 23, 2012

Merry Melodies/Looney Tunes and speech impediments

This week I'm writing about looney tunes and the speech impediments of some of the characters.This is a topic that I've seen on many blogs and other websites,and usually the same info with the person's opinion on it.I've noticed that most if not all of the opinions are negative.Some talk about how it encourages young children so pronounce words wrong on purpose,or how it's "annoying".None of the opinions are from personal experience,and that's where mine is different.

I have a neurological disorder called hydrocephalus.Hydrocephalus is when spinal fluid collects in the skull instead of draining.Since I was 17 months old,I've had a shunt to drain the spinal fluid.Hydrocephalus can effect people in many ways,but not in the same way for everyone.One of the ways it's effected me that may not effect a lot of others is that I have a lack of muscle control.I don't know what exactly caused it,it could be by the condition itself or the brain surgery I had as a toddler to fix the problem.The lack of muscle control caused me to have to work harder to learn and improve tasks that are either easy to learn,or at least not something that takes years.One of them is something that I still struggle with and has gotten worse again lately.I have a speech impediment that could be described as a slur more than anything else.I couldn't speak at all until I started taking speech therapy in preschool,instead I communicated with my parents and my sister with a form of sign language that I taught myself that only we could understand.It took a couple more years before I could speak in full sentences and I couldn't speak well enough to be understood my most people until I was ten.Then a few years after that I got to the point where although I still had a slur,speech therapy wasn't necessary because it was more important at then to stay in my classes during that time instead.

I knew I was different in childhood,it just that I wasn't aware of what people really thought of me because of it.It's not something that basically anyone whose written about this subject can understand,but watching looney tunes as a kid made me feel a little more normal.Even if they were cartoon characters,it was something I could relate to.That doesn't mean that it made me think they were real,or that it meant I shouldn't try to not get better.

If you watched you may think that most of the characters have speech impediments but in reality only a handful of them really do.Some of the characters that are commonly thought to have one but really don't are Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn.These characters have accents (Texan and southern) and they are mistaken for a stutter.The characters who are at least meant to have a speech impediment are Daffy Duck,Tweety Bird,Porky Pig,Elmer Fudd,and Sylvester.Daffy,Tweety and Sylvester  have a lisp,Porky has a stutter,and Elmer has rhotacism.Other characters that are thought to have speech impediments but have a accent instead are Foghorn Leghorn,Yosemite Sam,and Pepe Le Pew.The Tasmanian Devil may also be thought to have one,but his character doesn't really speak English in the first place,instead it's mostly grunts,growls and rasps.

The reason behind at least one of the character's speech impediments is that the voice actor really did have one.Joe Dougherty,the original voice actor of Porky Pig really did have a stutter that he couldn't control.Although it caused him to be replaced early on,Porky still had a stutter although it wasn't as severe.His speech impediment because a unique part of Merry melodies (now looney tunes) and the result was creating other characters with speech impediments or accents.

The first link below is a list of television characters with speech impediments,and the last two is where I got some minor information.Wikipedia may not be the best source,but it works when it comes to what I needed to find out.Thanks for reading :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

personal experience with P.E and a disability

I've still been working a lot lately,and for the last several weeks I've been working six days a week.So I haven't had time to write as I would when it's not "melon season".This week I'm going to talk about my personal experiences when it comes to physical education in elementary school,and compared to other's experiences.When my shunt was placed,along with malfunction symptoms my neurosurgeon told my parents that I wasn't allowed to play contact sports.The reason behind this is that even with a helmet it may have caused damage to my shunt.I didn't feel left out because I had no interest in sports anyway,and my siblings never played sports either.The only time I really felt left out was when my friends were playing,and I had it sit out and just watch instead.

Until my "hydro peeps" started finding me on facebook I never put to really thought about how my physical education teachers treated me,more the teacher I had for 5 years in elementary school than anyone else.I learned quickly than others living with the same condition as kids either won't told to not play contact sports at all,or even were told to sit out everyday.However most of the people that have told me that they need to sit out all together grew up in the sixties and seventies,the first generation after they came out with effective treatment.So very little was known about the condition,so people were scared to let kids with the condition do as much as they can now.

My physical education teacher had strict rules about contact sports.I assume they were for the safety of all the kids,but they made me be able to play the sports with everyone else,instead of having to sit out.The few times there weren't "no contact" rules she made it a option for anyone who wanted to,to sit out.There were sports that I was really bad at because of my depth perception and my ankles but when she could she would put me in a position or have someone help me.

There's one thing that did happen however that I didn't really understand at the time,but I've had problems getting over it since I figured out what people really think of me.My ankles caused me to always be the slowest runner so I didn't expect to be included in the track and field program they had my last year of elementary school.So I was really surprised when they had me pick up my shirt and told me I was going.They never explained to me why I was going until I we were there,and didn't really explain it when we there either.They never told my parents why I was going either,because if they did I know they would have disapproved and stopped the school from taking me.They had me run in a race with other kids with physical and mental disabilities.It may not sound like a bad thing but most if not all the other kids were a lot "worse of" than I was and am.The people who had me go probably didn't think much of it,and if they just wanted me to included me in it than I'm glad they thought of me.but if it wasn't than it hurts that they thought of me that way,and that it may have made my classmates think of me that way if they hadn't already.

Thanks for reading,and I'm hoping to start writing more on a regular basis soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not all disabilities are visible,and not everyone with ones needs a wheelchair.

I've been told a couple times lately that I'm not disabled.When I've been told this they mean they don't see it in the work,not so much that I don't actually have one.This is coming from people who know I have hydrocephalus and someone who doesn't.The first time I was kind of offended because my first thought that my "disability" doesn't actually exist.Then later on he mentioned why he thinks that,and even if he still doesn't understand how it effects me I still respect him for it a lot more than people who think the opposite of me.My disability is invisible technically compared to others,meaning that it doesn't effect me physically as much as others.A example of this is that I'm not in a wheelchair and unless people don't know me or are to ignorant to get over stuff like my speech impediment than people know that I don't have a intellectual disability The reason I ended up staying in special ed classes wasn't because I wasn't smart enough to take certain classes with everyone else.It was because I couldn't keep organized at all and didn't know why,and my memory failed me when it came to remembering to do homework.When I did remembered I struggled to remember what I had studied the night before when taking the test.It wasn't limited to these problems but most of it I know now is directly related to having a brain injury.

My disability is hydrocephalus and it's considered that because of the brain injury and condition itself,and everything that may or may result of it.Rather it's actual learning disabilities or just the side effects of brain injury.It's also considered a disability because of the pain it causes,and even if you can't believe it surgery doesn't "fix" it every time or even a option.Everyone has experienced pain and most have had migraines or at least headaches.Think of how it effects you and imagine how it effects people who have to deal with it on a constant basis,not just with hydrocephalus or other neurological conditions but with anyone who has conditions that have to do with constant pain.It isn't always obvious and a lot of the time daily routines can still be done,but that doesn't mean that it's doesn't make things a lot harder.

I've been working hard to overcome all the side effects of my brain injury and anyone who has known me for a long time,knows how much I've struggled.Rather or not they know what causes it,it's always been a part of my life in every way.It's not something that's just not going to go away and I've had to deal with certain things like worse again like my speech impediment,and if/when I need surgeries again than it will mean I would have to re-learn things again each time.With a lot of the side effects like organization skills I've improved a lot and you don't always notice it as much if you look at my work area compared to what my backpack looked like in high school.With others like short term memory loss I've learned to hide more than I use to.If you look at the work of others and look at mine then you won't always be able to tell I'm the disabled one.But also a lot of people don't try when it comes to things like that because they don't think it really matters,but with people like me we've been working hard to be "normal" our whole lives or starting when we became disabled.So remember that not disabilities are visible,and not everyone with one needs a wheelchair,thanks for reading.