With the release of the new movie, 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 more than three million people in this country alone.
The movie deals solely with King George VI's debilitating stutter and his relationship with Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist retained to help him overcome his disability.
"I am delighted that The King's Speech will introduce a new generation of young people to the inspiring story of King George VI," noted Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation. "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."
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 in 1947.
"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," Ms. Fraser added.
Today's research shows that stuttering does indeed have a biological cause and can be treated effectively. There are speech-language pathologists worldwide who can help, and the Foundation provides a free list of these specialists at www.stutteringhelp.org or by calling 800-992-9392.