Before I begin, let me say that I sincerely appreciate anyone who takes time out of their day to talk with my son. He loves it and so do I. Thank you!
Having said that, just because a person has a learning disability does not mean that they are deaf. Most of the time, they can hear you just fine. You don’t have to raise your voice or yell at them. Trust me, they hear you.
Speak to them as you would anyone else. It’s okay if they don’t respond like others would or if they say nothing at all. They may not know how to respond or they may just not care to. But one thing is almost a guarantee – they can hear you.
Most of us have done this before and I understand why. We feel that somehow people can understand us better if we speak louder to them. People who travel or move to foreign countries get this a lot. Many people think that since they don’t speak our language, we must raise our voice to help them understand what we’re saying.
However by doing so, we often offend them and distract them from hearing our words altogether. If you really want someone to understand you, then speak slower not louder. By slower, I don’t mean that your voice should drag like a slug. What I do mean, is that you should take the time to fully pronounce your words and with clarity. This will help them to better comprehend what you are saying.
Remember as you go about your life, that just because someone speaks with an accent or has a learning disability, it does not mean that they can’t hear you. I’m not pointing fingers, because I’ve been guilty of doing this before too. But not only is it unnecessary, it’s rude. Instead, just talk to them as you would anyone else. They will appreciate it.
From a mother of an autistic son, this is a just a friendly reminder for next time you run into someone who doesn’t speak like you do. Be their friend, talk to them, love them and always be kind.