‘The King?s Speech’ helps public understand disability


    In a few minor ways, I psychologically mirror King George VI from the Oscar-winning movie based on his trials and tribulations involving stuttering, “The King’s Speech.” The movie is primarily about King George VI’s stuttering problems and how they affected him throughout his regal life. The crux of the movie is that it relates to the general public the psychological problems that come with stuttering and how strongly they can affect the sufferer 8212; and perhaps that the stutterer through individual perseverance can overcome his or her stuttering.

    Throughout my childhood and most of high school, I had a moderate stuttering problem. Like King George VI, I stuttered not like the stereotypical Porky Pig, repeating certain letters in rapid-fire fashion, but I had trouble getting certain sounds out of my mouth and was blocked by random pauses of incomprehensible babble. Not only do certain words not come out correctly, but stutterers like King George VI, me and others speak “normally” when singing, when we are with friends or family or when we are using profanity, oddly enough. Stuttering is an extraordinarily complicated physiological and emotional problem, and stutterers have waited long enough for a movie such as “The King’s Speech” to draw the curtains on the issue for the public.

    The psychological problems that come with stuttering mostly deal with individual levels of confidence, not to mention the problems stuttering creates with children in school. The biggest issue is how stuttering is dealt with in school. Some students who stutter are often cast aside by their peers and don’t receive enough attention from the school at large for their legitimate problem. Not being able to emit a certain syllable or word is one of the most frustrating things I and other stutterers have dealt with or will ever deal with in our lives, and this is a small similarity that we share with King George VI.

    I applaud the creators of “The King’s Speech” for bringing to light a psychological problem that was once beset by public myths, such as stuttering is caused by bad parenting or otherwise it is the stutterer’s fault and that the person can fix it easily 8212; this is definitely not the case. Even with therapy, stuttering is difficult to cure, and some people like me simply grow out of it when providence smiles upon us.

    Hopefully, “The King’s Speech” has given sufferers of stuttering a small shred of confidence concerning their problem and gets them to attempt to fix it. At the very least, the public now knows a tiny bit more about this sad affliction, and perhaps they will be more accepting of the problem and more interested in developing cures and various therapies.

    Danny Peters is a senior writing major from Fort Worth.