I’ve just finished watching the film The Kings Speech, a great film that shows some of the problems and tensions for those with speech impediments. What comes across is that speech problems like many others can be overcome with a bit of determination. As a life long stammerer I can remember as a child hating to go to the fish shop as I had to order Skate for my mother. Lots of S’s in Skate. However, that which does not kill you makes you strong to paraphrase Nietsche and it never stopped me. Likewise it never stopped many others. My friend at college Geoff Gleeson was British Judo coach a true intellectual and a warrior too. It’s a paradox that both of us chose roles where we have to do lots of public speaking. Martial arts was a huge part in both our growth I’m sure and I recommend the training to everyone.
Speech therapy has changed dramatically since the days of King George. Though I’ve not been to a therapist in many years I’d be happy to point anyone afflicted towards the best people. One of the most fun things was taking a group of intense stammerers to a very busy chinese restaurant in China town with the most aggressive and insulting waiters. All of us with the intention of taking our time and keeping eye contact. Huge fun but only in retrospect. I still don’t get to say exactly what comes into my brain, some would say that’s a blessing.
What the film and my own experience shows is that most problems can be overcome and to a certain extent help make you unique. Everybody can be a King to themselves. You’ve got a problem? That’s good!