I see it happening again. I have a column on my Tweetdeck where I keep my ear out for people talking about Foreign Accent Syndrome. Since local doctors don’t have a protocol for how to help me, I am forced to do anything I can to help myself.
What I am seeing now is another wave of people learning of Foreign Accent Syndrome for the first time. It has been over sixteen months since my adventures into the world of a foreign sounding person started. I had so hoped that my speech would have returned as quickly and magically as it had changed. But No! I’m still having to think very hard when I speak to correct such things as “what you are looking for?” when I ask my husband what he is searching for. I make myself “fix” things, because I don’t won’t to have them get worse.
The word “people” still wants to come out “Pee-pools” and lately I’ve had a very difficult time saying “wolf”. The long “A” sound is always a tough one especially at the beginning of a word. The word “yes-ter-day” was one of the very first words to give me repeated trouble in pronunciation as it sounds like I am slamming a stop in between each syllable…but I don’t seem to be able to smooth it out. Grr! Then there’s probably one of the kid’s favorites… “Dar”….. as in “their dog” or “it’s over there” … only it comes out dahr.
Sorry for the side note of frustration, but as I see the Autumn leaves preparing for winter and hard times ahead, I am also in dread. My husband has been out of work from a job he had for 16 years and our income and benefits are drastically changing because of it. That means that I am even more likely to have to continue suffering on my own without any help to try and make things better.
You see it’s not just accented speech. It’s all the effort that goes into trying to correct the sounds and place the words in the proper order and put the stress and rhythm in the right place on TOP of the scrutiny I receive for sounding so profoundly different.
Here is a link to a current article making the internet buz with comment on FAS http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/20/when-brain-damage-makes-you-sound-foreign/?hpt=T2
As I see these people commenting on articles that they’ve just seen about Foreign Accent Syndrome, some people are genuinely shocked or intrigued. However, there are so very many who comment cruelly on the misfortune of others, saying it’s fake or a ploy for attention, or they wish they could sound a certain way like that. Oh my!
I want so very much to connect with other scientists, sufferers, speech pathologists, but I am out of resources. I am relying on my writing, the internets reach, networking and the power of prayer to try to get something positive done before a long, cold, depressing winter sets in.
I invite you to look around on this website for other articles with the tag “fas”. In particular I posted one called “WHAT IT WAS VS. WHAT IT IS“. Many of these posts have links In which you will hear for yourself what a profound change took place in my voice within two days time.
So the question remains; what can we do? I am one who would gladly subject myself to testing for the benefit of scientific understanding, but have no insurance, research or other monies to do so… even if a doctor or university jumped on the chance to study the phenomena. Being a formerly pre-medical and now freelance graphic artist communicator, I am a trained observer so I have tons of useful data, but what authority will gather and effectively use it for the greatest benefit? What CAN we do?