Speech Therapy Gets the Royal Treatment on the Big Screen
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Jan. 10, 2011) — With the release of the critically acclaimed new film, The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, it is most timely to highlight the plight of those who stutter and the resources that are available to them. This incredibly complex disorder affects millions of people worldwide. The movie, which has received seven Golden Globe nominations and is discussed favorably in all award-show discussions, captivates audiences with the anguish of King George VI’s debilitating stutter and his relationship with Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist retained to help him overcome his disability.
"This movie has done in one fell swoop what we've been working on for 64 years. While the film will be viewed as entertainment by the movie-going public, it will particularly resonate for people who struggle with stuttering on a daily basis," noted Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation.
In most films, a stuttering character is most often relegated to the role of comic relief, and rarely fills the role of hero. Colin Firth’s role as King George VI, or “Bertie”, is the wondrous exception.
"I am delighted that The King’s Speech will introduce a new generation of young people to the inspiring story of King George VI,” said Ms. Fraser. “He continues to be a powerful role model whose broadcasts of hope kept the spirits of the British people alive during the dark days of World War II. He even inspired my father, Malcolm Fraser, who founded The Stuttering Foundation more than six decades ago.”
Malcolm Fraser felt the same dread of speaking in public that the King experienced in the 1940s. Fraser, a successful businessman, went on to establish and endow the 64-year-old nonprofit Foundation in 1947. Today, The Stuttering Foundation helps people by providing free online resources on its Web site, www.stutteringhelp.org, services and support to those who stutter and their families, as well as support for research into the causes of stuttering.
Today’s research shows that stuttering does indeed have a biological cause and can be treated effectively. There are speech-language therapists worldwide who can help, and the Foundation provides a free list of specialists.
Please visit www.stutteringhelp.org or by call 800-992-9392.