Asher has problems growing up in the community because his learning curve for speech doesn't match the expectations set up by the rest of the society. It's not his fault but he is punished regardless.
Precision of speech is highly valued by the community. Words are to be chosen carefully so as to convey exact meanings when communicating. This expectation starts at the very earliest stages of a child beginning to acquire spoken language. For a child like Asher, who may be dyslexic or may simply not have developed to the point of focussing closely on associating sounds with meanings, it can result in painful lessons.
The discipline wand, in the hand of the Childcare worker, whistled as it came down across Asher's hands. Asher whimpered, cringed and corrected himself instantly. "Snack," he whispered.
But the next morning he had done it again. And again the following week. He couldn't seem to stop, though for each lapse, the discipline wand came again, escalating to a series of painful lashes that left marks on Asher's legs. Eventually, for a period of time, Asher stopped talking altogether, when he was a Three.
To be physically harmed for something that was beyond his developmental stage is cruel, but was considered acceptable by the community in its demand for conformity.
I sympathize with Asher because of his bravery unlike Rosemary.