Mikee Larrazabal 5 min read

What The King’s Speech Can Teach Us about Stuttering

The King’s Speech is a movie that talks about a king with speech problems. He was treated by a speech therapist, and the movie showcases his journey in overcoming his difficulties. While the story is fictional, it contains several elements that can be useful for those who suffer from stuttering. To learn more about the king’s speech journey, read more!

The King’s Speech Journey

King George VI was born in 1895 to the Duke and Duchess of York. He was not heir to the throne at first, but when his older brother abdicated, he became king. It is said that the possible cause of the stutter was partially verbal abuse from King George V when he was a small child. Whatever the cause, George VI stammered his way through his speeches. George’s stutter made public speaking difficult for him, and he often felt humiliated because of it. In order to help him overcome this hurdle, his wife Elizabeth arranged for him to see a speech therapist named Lionel Logue.

The King's Speech

Logue was unorthodox in his methods, but he helped the king gradually overcome his stutter. The King’s Speech is an inspiring story of how one man overcame a speech impediment through hard work and determination.

Lionel’s Treatment

Although Logue wasn’t a certified speech therapist, he certainly exercised a progressive approach and used many valid techniques to treat stuttering. George VI’s increasing self-assurance was essential. A stutter usually gets worse when a person is more conscious of it and concerned about it. Lionel Logue, as well as assisting George VI, also calms him down and regulates his speech rate. He also taught him breathing methods to help him relax. He urged George VI to share any mental concerns he was having to reduce stress.

It got to the point that George VI and Lionel developed a father-son-like relationship, which is evident in the movie.

King’s Speech Today

The king’s speech today is often seen as an inspiration to those who suffer from stuttering. It is a reminder that with hard work and determination, anyone can overcome their difficulties. If you or someone you know is struggling with stuttering, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to assist you on your journey.

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What The King’s Speech Can Teach Us about Stuttering

First and foremost, what is stuttering?

Stuttering is a disruption in the flow of speech that is characterized by repetitions, prolongations, or abnormal stoppages of sounds. These disruptions can make speech difficult to understand, and often cause stress or anxiety in the person who is stuttering. Stuttering typically shows up during the preschool years and can last a lifetime.

Characteristics of stuttering include:

  • Repetitions of syllables (e.g., “I-I-I want to go outside”)
  • Repetition of monosyllabic word (ex: Why-Why-Why was she late?)
  • Prolongations of sounds within words (e.g., sssssssaying “ssssnake”)
  • Blocks, which are pauses in speech that may be accompanied by a feeling of tightness or tension in the face or chest

Other overt stuttering behaviors include:

  • Tensing of the face or upper body
  • Avoidance behaviors, such as eye blinks or head turns
  • Frequent use of fillers, such as “um” or “you know”
  • Escape behaviors, such as rapid speech or changing topics
King's Speech

In addition to these behaviors, many people who stutter also experience secondary symptoms of anxiety and embarrassment. These can be caused by the stress that often accompanies stuttering or by negative social reactions to speech disfluency.

The King’s Speech can teach us a few things about stuttering.

  1. It is important to seek out treatment if stuttering is something that is negatively impacting your life. Just like any communication disorder, the king’s speech taught us to seek intervention as soon as you or your child needs it! Just like George VI, he believed in seeking treatment for stuttering given the scarcity of information on stuttering and the lack of available resources.
  2. Even with treatment, it takes time and effort to overcome a stutter. Speech therapy is not magic nor a cure. It is a process that takes time, patience, and practice to see results.
  3. The people around you can make a big difference in your journey. The support of family and friends is crucial. Just like the king’s speech, it was Elizabeth’s idea to seek out help and she was very supportive throughout the entire process.
  4. Do not give up! With hard work and dedication, it is possible to improve your speech. The king’s speech journey shows us that stuttering can be overcome with the right help and determination. If you or someone you know suffers from a stutter, don’t hesitate to get help. It could make all the difference in the world.

Treatment of Stuttering Then and Now

The methods used by Lionel Logue in the king’s speech are still in use today. However, there have been many advances in the field of speech therapy since then. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, stuttering is a “disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and rhythm of speech.” It is estimated that 1% of the world’s population stutters.

While the etiology of stuttering is unknown, researchers believe that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for stuttering, but it can be treated. The goal of treatment for stuttering is to help the person suffering from stuttering to improve their quality of life.

Treatment for Stuttering

Speech Therapy then

The approach to treatment for stuttering has changed over the years. In the past, stuttering was thought to be caused by psychological factors. As a result, treatment focused on psychotherapy and hypnosis. In the 19th century, stuttering was even treated surgically!

Speech Therapy now

Nowadays, however, the focus is on speech therapy. This form of therapy helps the person learn how to speak in a more fluent way. It also teaches them breathing and relaxation techniques to help reduce stress.

One therapy technique discovered by Van Riper suggests that stuttering is caused by a conflict between the brain’s desire to speak and the muscles’ inability to produce the desired speech. As a result, this therapy focuses on helping the person learn how to control their muscles so that they can produce fluent speech.

Speech therapy can be done individually or in group settings. It is important to seek out a qualified speech therapist if you or someone you know is suffering from stuttering. With the right help, it is possible to improve your quality of life.

Speech therapy is not a cure for stuttering, but it can help improve the quality of life for those who suffer from this disorder. If you or someone you know suffers from stuttering, don’t hesitate to seek out treatment for stuttering or any communication disorders. It could make all the difference in the world. Contact us now for more information.