A Golden Moment For Stutters -- Colin Firth Wins Golden Globe For Role as King George VI

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Award-Winning The King's Speech Sheds Light On Fluency Disorder

MEDIA ADVISORY
January 17, 2011

A Golden Moment For Stutterers
Award-Winning The King’s Speech Sheds Light On Fluency Disorder

Editors: Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Immediate Past President of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is available to discuss stuttering and stuttering treatments.

WHY COVER THIS NOW: Last night, The King’s Speech was a winner at the Golden Globes. The movie's lead actor, Colin Firth won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of King George VI. This Golden Globe winning role brings stuttering to the forefront and shows how King George VI overcame his severe speech impediment with help from his speech therapist Lionel Logue.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE AFTER VIEWING THE KING’S SPEECH:
1.    What therapies are effective in treating stuttering today?
2.    How important is it that a stutterer receives support in addition to speech therapy?
3.    Is stuttering/stammering curable?
4.    When and why does a person develop a stutter?
5.    What advice should be given to an adult who stutters?

VIDEO CLIPS OF DR. ROBINSON SPEAKING ABOUT THE KING’S SPEECH AND STUTTERING

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsP6EPwtBI8)

  •     The King’s Speech has Many Important Benefits

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cRAQCBRYi8)

STUTTERING IMPEDES COMMUNICATION: Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called "disfluencies." In most cases, stuttering has an impact on at least some daily activities. Some people may limit their participation in certain activities. Such "participation restrictions" often occur because the person is concerned about how others might react to disfluent speech. The impact of stuttering on daily life can be affected by how the person and others react to the disorder.

Most treatment programs for people who stutter are "behavioral." They are designed to teach the person specific skills or behaviors that lead to improved oral communication. For instance, many speech-language pathologists teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak. In addition, people may learn to start saying words in a slightly slower and less physically tense manner. They may also learn to control or monitor their breathing. When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural. "Follow-up" or "maintenance" sessions are often necessary after completion of formal intervention to prevent relapse.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kimberly O’Sullivan, ASHA Public Relations Manager, office (301) 296-8715, cell (301) 987-8420 or E-mail at kosullivan(at)asha(dot)org

Joseph Cerquone, ASHA Public Relations Director, cell (703) 973-7744 or E-mail jcerquone(at)asha(dot)org

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