NLD and Barriers to Course Participation

By the time I’d reached first grade, I had been taught to observe relative silence in school.  Thus, I didn’t feel comfortable conversing and was terrified to ask questions or make comments.  I never knew where/when to speak up.  As life went on, I got terrified of speaking in class, which I now see as like public speaking.  And now I find myself holding back from asking questions due to these (at least for me) largely-NLD issues:

-Worrying that my question/comment is off-topic.

-Having trouble stringing together concepts into the form of an on-the-spot question.

-Confusion about what exactly I’m asking.

-Worrying that my question/comment may have overly-opinionated content (i.e., be too critical, or sound angry without me intending or realizing).

-Fact that, at least much of the time, I can’t project (“throw”) my voice and instead tend to speak in a very “indoor” voice.  (I studied solo voice once, but could never get my voice loud enough for a whole room to hear, plus now I’m very self-conscious about my speech-pattern issues, which makes speaking up even harder.)

I imagine myself proactively asking questions in front of a class, but doing it is completely different.  Also, I’m often too busy just copying stuff off the board, or doing computation, to ask a question in those less-than-ten-second windows.  Tomorrow if I’m not too exhausted, I’m going to try and stay after class so I can ask the professor some questions I will prepare in advance.  Hopefully this will help me feel more comfortable, but I can’t know for sure.  I’ve had many difficult experiences–more than not.  I’ve been passed up for jobs due to NLD, et cetera.  I feel like there should be a book called “Dealing with NLD in an NLD-Unfriendly World” or something. barriers


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