I suffer from rhotacism (like Jonathon Ross) and my speech is affected by both this and my hearing loss, especially when tired.
When I was 7 years old, I was in a Y3 class and my teacher asked the class to name things that were outside on the school grounds. I confidently raised my hand and said ‘trees’ but what came out sounded like ‘cheese’. Cue laughter from the other students, and my teacher saying, whilst laughing herself, that ‘there’s no cheese outside’.
I was never embarrassed about my speech, or felt ‘different’ from my peers, until this incident occured. This is something that has haunted me for over twenty years. I’m sure that no-one remembers it happening except for me, which shows how powerful just one negative comment about someone’s speech can be.