Movie is lesson in speech therapy

    Speech therapists are giving rave reviews to “The King’s Speech,” a new film that portrays the raw emotion and anxiety of those who stutter.

    The heart of the story is the relationship between King George VI and his Australian speech therapist.

    Colin Firth plays the king. Geoffrey Rush plays the unorthodox therapist who helps King George battle his stuttering — and address the nation at the start of World War II.


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    The film depicts treatments still used today for adults, including breathing exercises and air flow management to improve the fluency of speech.

    Dr. Glen Tellis leads the speech department at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa.

    He says stuttering modification is also depicted in the film.

    “For example, if a person goes ‘m-m-m-My name is Glen.’ It many change to ‘mmmy name is Glen.’ So they may change the way you stutter, but you still stutter,” Tellis said.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy — or examining the attitudes and anxious feelings associated with stuttering — is often part of the solution.

    Spoiler alert, fluency specialists – like Tellis – say they love that there’s no Hollywood ending for the king.

    “He just learned a way to cope and change the way he stuttered. And he accepted it. It’s like the acceptance of stuttering. That you will stutter but we will show you methods and make you empowered to go out to situations and do the things you should be doing,” Tellis said.

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