MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2007) — Stuttering continues to puzzle scientists as they work to find a cause and a cure for this distressing speech problem. A new movie, Rocket Science, shines a spotlight on the disability that affects three million Americans.
The movie, about a high school boy who stutters who is encouraged to join the debate team by a female classmate, was written, directed, and produced by Jeffrey Blitz, who has struggled with stuttering since childhood.
Says Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation, "It is particularly exciting to know that Jeffrey Blitz stutters himself and thus has a real feel for what the person who stutters encounters every day!"
Blitz has been added to the Foundation's list of famous people who stutter at www.stutteringhelp.org, where he joins a list of celebrated actors such as James Earl Jones and Bruce Willis.
In an interview with the New York Sun's James Snyder, Blitz related that the challenges he faced because of his stuttering molded his interests as a filmmaker. He added, "Now I'm a real word lover. I love the power of specific words."
Turning what might have been considered a disability into a strength, Blitz said, "As a stuttering kid, you learn tons of words because you substitute words as you speak, trading out words you can say with words you get stuck on."
In this way, he added, "You develop a real admiration for the power of words that fluent kids might not come to."
Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects 1% of the worldwide adult population, while some 5% of the child population struggles with stuttering at some point in their development. The nonprofit Stuttering Foundation at www.stutteringhelp.org, provides numerous resources for adults, children, parents and teachers.