Tonight was my first speech reading class and it was at the Sanderson Center. It’s not called lip reading anymore because that is just concentration on the lips. Speech reading takes in body language, facial expressions and gestures. There were 7 of us there to learn. We are all hard of hearing and ages vary.
Today’s lesson concentrated on the letters P, M and B. They are the “lip biters” I think she said. So we practiced with words that began with the letters, ended with the letters and had the letters in the middle. There is homework and part of it is watching myself say the words in the mirror or getting someone else to mouth the words.
At first, we said 3 words out loud a few times then we mouthed them. One of my words was “mail.” Our deaf and hard of hearing specialist was there and she said my mail sounded like “mayo” instead. I knew it! I knew it from trying to tell others my name (hearing people). I tend to drop my L’s. It came out again in ‘mail.’ So there’s a detectable part of my deaf accent.
Later, we practiced mouthing words and phrases. Some people are easier to lip read than others. When a few mouthed their phrases, I understood right off the bat. Others, I got half the words but not the rest and still a few other people I couldn’t hardly lip read at all. Sometimes the harder I try, the more difficult lip reading comes.
I enjoyed the class and I like my teacher. I sat right by her so I could be teachers pet. (Plus it’s my habit to sit up front to make sure I hear everything.) The teacher is Kathy, my local HLA mentor and helper for the Walk4Hearing. She’s a great teacher and I’m going to like this class.