American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Media Advisory: Stuttering Expert Can Offer Clinical Expertise In Wake Of Release Of The King's Speech November 26

Editors: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association President Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP is available for interviews to discuss stuttering and treatments for it.

(Rockville, MD - November 11, 2010)  

Why Cover This Now: The King's Speech,a new movie that will be released Friday, November 26  brings stuttering to the forefront and shows how King George VI overcame his severe speech impediment with  help from his speech therapist Lionel Logue.

The King's Speech is getting Oscar buzz due to the storyline and its caliber cast—Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, among others. Directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler.   

From Internet Movie Database:"The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it."

From Yahoo! Movies: "George VI, also known as Bertie, reluctantly takes the throne of England when his brother, Edward, abdicates in 1936. The unprepared king turns to a radical speech therapist, Lionel Logue, to help overcome his nervous stutter and the two forge a friendship."

Who: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association President, Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in treating stuttering. Dr. Robinson can offer an informed clinical perspective on the movie and offer the public expert tips, guidance, and perspectives on stuttering.

Stuttering Impeded Communication: Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called "disfluencies." In most cases, stuttering has an impact on at least some daily activities. Some people may limit their participation in certain activities. Such "participation restrictions" often occur because the person is concerned about how others might react to disfluent speech. The impact of stuttering on daily life can be affected by how the person and others react to the disorder.

Most treatment programs for people who stutter are "behavioral." They are designed to teach the person specific skills or behaviors that lead to improved oral communication. For instance, many speech-language pathologists teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak. In addition, people may learn to start saying words in a slightly slower and less physically tense manner. They may also learn to control or monitor their breathing. When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural. "Follow-up" or "maintenance" sessions are often necessary after completion of formal intervention to prevent relapse.

Media Contacts  

Joseph Cerquone, ASHA Public Relations Director, cell 703-973-7744, or e-mail jcerquone@asha.org

Kimberly O'Sullivan, ASHA Public Relations Manager, office 301-296-8715, cell 301-987-8420 or e-mail at kosullivan@asha.org

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