This comment was from wellokaythen on the post: Solitude: A Stutterer’s Reflection.
Very well said. I’ve been a stutterer since about third grade and gone through years of speech therapy.
Something worthy of a GMP discussion about sex/gender differences: Males are at least 5 times more likely to stutter as females. This seems to be overwhelmingly a male issue.
I just wanted to add some of the speech therapy words of wisdom here to help clarify some things. Stuttering is an action, and not simply an impediment: stutter is what one DOES, not what one HAS, although in day-to-day life it’s hard to see the difference sometimes. When I felt like stuttering was just this problem that I had, this affliction I was cursed with, it was hard to see how much control I really had. Never total control, but a lot of stuttering is from physical and psychological habit, which can be revised by the speaker himself.
For the non-stutterers out there (and I feel sorry for you, but maybe in your next life you could get to be a stutterer?), what really resonated for me was all the well-intentioned but totally useless advice that people gave him. Slow down! Relax! Concentrate on what you’re going to say! All that is actually quite counterproductive.
To those interested in seeking speech therapy or becoming speech therapists, please note that Geoffrey Rush’s character had some great therapy techniques and some really terrible ones. He was making it up as he went along, because there were virtually no good sources to draw from in the 1930′s. (I think Freud saw stuttering as connected to one’s potty training as a small child.) One experiment in the 1930′s succeeded in turning some children into stutterers when they weren’t before. Completely unethical nowadays, thnak goodness. Speech pathology has made leaps and bounds since then.
George VI was individually heroic in facing his own demons, but the movie completely slanted his actually political leanings. The entire royal family was quite sympathetic to Hitler and were very slow to see Nazi Germany as a threat or as any sort of morally questionable government. (The Nazis were officially conservative, after all, and they hated those monarchy-destroying communists, so it seemed like a good fit at the time.) The King wasn’t so sure he wanted to speak out against Hitler until Britain was actually at war with Germany.
Like many others in the royal family, he was sympathetic to fascism until he could no longer afford to be. (Oh, and there’s the embarrassing problem that the English royal family is essentially German in its ancestry.) He came very late to the whole “fight Nazi tyranny” party.
Photo: ElvertBarnes / Flickr