In the Oscar-winning film “The King’s Speech” the unorthodox speech professional who works with King George VI is Lionel Logue. Before he abruptly became King he was then the Duke of York. It was his loving wife, Elizabeth, who hired Lionel Logue after they tried numerous speech therapists and other programs. Dave McGuire has developed a program for stutterers since 1994.
The McGuire Program and Beyond Stammering has helped thousands of adults who stutter. These are the ones who have had little to no success with speech pathologists. The reality TV show in Great Britain, “Pop Idol”, which later inspired the U.S. version “American Idol”, has a former “Pop Idol” finalist as a graduate of the McGuire Program. He was a severe stutterer, much like King George VI, and is now one of their course instructors. Dave McGuire has taken the time to give his professional perspective on this extraordinary film.
– What is your professional opinion of “The King’s Speech” after watching the movie?
It portrayed four things very well:
1.) What it is like to have a stutter.
2.) That an un-credentialed person with talent and intuition can be more effective than most licensed (credentialed) therapists.
3.) It takes tremendous work, courage and perseverance to significantly improve someone with a sever stutter.
4.) Day to day support is vital (although not affordable for all but the very wealthy).
– Are the treatments in the movie still used today?
Some are still used such as breath control, dealing with the underlying fear and trauma, prolonging the first sound, and facing feared situations. Others have been discarded such as substituting an easier word in place of one more difficult.
Using “ah” before a difficult word or sound is considered a ‘trick’ which eventually increases the fear hence increases the stammer/stutter. It is doubtful that shouting swear words to break through blocks is still used by anyone.
-Do you feel the film was portrayed accurately and professionally regarding this speech disorder?
Very much so.
-Was there anything about it that was inaccurate?
Perhaps it gave the impression that George VI was cured when, historically, it is well documented that he could still stammer severely in stressful situations.
– How did the actor Colin Firth portray an adult who stutters?
– Do you feel that “The King’s Speech” deserved an Oscar for its depiction?
Yes. Absolutely. This is a very difficult subject to portray. All the actors, writers, director, etc. did a great job.
Be sure to check out the websites of The McGuire Program and Beyond Stammering for their featured articles and promotions of the Academy Award-winning film, “The King’s Speech.”
The McGuire Programme – Beyond Stammering, McGuire Programme.com
Beyond Stammering – Control Your Stutter & Speak Fluently!, Beyond Stammering.com
The King’s Speech (2010), Yahoo! Movies
The King’s Speech – Official Site, Kings Speech.com