Reflection -The impact of stuttering in a person’s life

Abstract

Stuttering is a common condition that many people ignore or assume to be insignificant. Some people believe it to be genetic, whereas others view it as a symbol of weakness or tension. Although it has no cure, it can be treated as stutters through the aid of a speech therapist can learn how to control how they speak. In this paper, one gets to hear of David Seidler, who was able to scope an Oscar award despite being a stutter. The early life of most people who stammer is not easy as they are bullied, teased, and scolded for their stammering. In the writing below, readers get to know the impact on stutters when they are judgmental towards their speech. David Seidler, who is a scriptwriter, is best known for having written the film ‘The King’s Speech,’ whereby he was able to express his stuttering experience. After reading this article, one is expected to have a completely different perspective regarding the life of a stutter.

The impact of stuttering

Stuttering is an unintentional fluency disorder that is common in society. It is also referred to as stammering. As a person stutters, the body tries to compensate and force words out by stamping the feet, blinking, or grimacing. Usually, these involuntary actions create an awkward moment for the stammerer. For instance, he is chatting with a woman he just met, and suddenly, words cannot get out. There is a misconception that mistakes stuttering as a sign of bad parenting or low self-esteem. The effects of the condition are multidimensional on a person’s personality, and they run beyond what we can see. What most people fail to know is that stuttering affects all the stages of life, starting with childhood, adolescence, and the adulthood phase as well. Its impact is not only on the individual but also his or her family in the long run. Parents should understand the condition of a stuttering child at the early stages of life and be easy on them. Sufficient support from one’s family makes it easy for a stammering child to overcome being bullied or teased (Rosse, 2014).

David Seidler is a renowned British-American scriptwriter that despite facing a rough childhood because of his stuttering, he overcame it and won an Academy Award, among other awards. One of his best screenplays in the film The King’s Speech. The setting of the movie is between the First and Second World War and focuses on the rapport between King George VI and Lionel Logue (his speech therapist). David expresses his stuttering condition through the writing of this play. He wrote the piece to voice fellow stutters and encouraged them not to let their condition limit them from reaching their full potential.

In 2011 during the 83rd Academy Awards, David Seidler briefly explained his childhood as a stutter after being awarded an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He jokingly said that his father used to call him a late bloomer. Though the audience laughed and so did him, but back then, uttering such words to a child must have been hurtful. What can be deduced from this is that David’s father was not supportive of his son’s condition and challenged him to try to cope with his age mates. Reacting with anger towards a stammering child does not help. It leads the child to an emotional outburst as they experience a wide range of feelings. It is for this reason that most people believe such children to be violent or depressive. A kid who stutters finds it hard to express his or her inner thought, which is frustrating and comes out as anger.

David does not mention incidence where he let his anger get the best of him. He channeled all his frustrations into making a mark in the film industry. Being a stutter, David grew looking up to George VI because he knew he was like him, that was almost totally cured. The fact that George VI was able to give eloquent and moving wartime speeches was a great inspiration to Seidler. During his early life, he was hopeful that someday his speech would improve, but before then, stuttering was not going to hinder him from living his life as he wished. Later experiences with stuttering made David embrace the condition and present himself as an ambassador for stutters. As he winded his speech at the 2011 Oscar awards, he said, “I accept this award on behalf of all the stutters in the world. We have a voice! We have been heard! (Seidler, 2011)” The implication is that having understood the frustration that stutters undergo, he has been at the forefront representing them.

Unfortunately, there is no medication to cure stuttering. Instead, a stutter has to embark on speech therapy where they learn techniques to control speaking. However, this is not an easy procedure as it requires a lifetime pledge of regular practice. Based on the recent speeches of David Seidler, one cannot tell that he was a profound stutter as a child. All this is because of the hard work he must have put towards improving his speech. Most people presume stuttering to be a sign of weakness, especially among men. But these (stutters) are the bravest people because each day, they struggle to prove that they a more than just stammerers. Their mental toughness is on another level as they can quickly switch words before they start repeating a word.

David has achieved quite a lot in his lifetime. He is proud and grateful for reaching where he is. Although he is pretty old, he reminisces all the support he has received from his family, friends, and work associates to be an iconic scriptwriter. Besides the support David received from people close to him, his ambition is an essential factor behind his success. He took his experience of being a stutter to his advantage and played a very crucial role in the making of ‘The King’s Speech.’ From David’s story and his film ‘The King’s Speech,’ people that initially associate stuttering to signify weakness have a change of thoughts. George VI is a great historical leader that did quite a lot for his nation despite his speech disorder (Los Angeles Times, 2010). Most people must not have been aware of his stuttering condition before watching the movie produced by Tom Cooper and Seidler. From this, we can conclude that stammering can be treated, and a stutter can overcome it through speech therapy. After learning about stuttering, I now have a different perspective about the hot temper I used to associate stutters with. Their temper is not because of a neurological disorder of any sort, but rather it is caused by them feeling angry, not being able to let that out, and getting the impression that they are looked down upon.

The best way to help a stutter is through the help of a speech therapist. The therapy is more effective when the therapist and student have a close relation. Being hard on a stutter can never improve their condition. Children who are scolded for stammering usually tend to be shy and prefer to be antisocial to avoid speaking. The problem with this is that such kids suffer from depression, and they never really live to their full potential. Developing a strong support network is crucial for the improvement of a stutter. How people around react when an individual stammers play a significant role in how the individual views him/herself. Stutters should be in an environment where they are not afraid or ashamed to speak.

References

Los Angeles Times. (2010, December 9). David Seidler, ‘The King’s Speech’ writer, and his commoner cause. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-dec-09-la-en-seidler-20101209-story.html

Rosse, D. (2014, March 3). I Am a Man Who Stutters. Retrieved from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cc-i-am-a-man-who-stutters/

Seidler, D. (2011, March 3). David Seidler winning Best Original Screenplay for “The King’s Speech” [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-HFjx4ZdJ4

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