The King’s Speech Movie – How speech and language therapy played a vital role in shaping a King and country for World War II – and how it can help us today

The King’s Speech Movie – How speech and language therapy played a vital role in shaping a King and country for World War II – and how it can help us today

How speech and language therapy played a vital role in shaping a King and country for World War II – and how it can help us today

 

Good communication is vital in all walks of life. Whatever age you are, whatever you are doing at school, home or at work, clear speech and language makes a huge difference.

But when you are a King preparing a country for war, your words have the power to change millions of lives.

In January 2011, ‘The King’s Speech’ was released in cinemas; it later won a well-deserved Oscar for best film. The movie tells the story of King George VI and his journey to overcome stammering.  Central to the movie is the relationship between King George and his Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) Lionel Logue. The film conveys, with incredible insight, both the psychological and behavioural issues surrounding stammering. This clear depiction can be attributed to the fact that the writer, David Shidler, had experienced stammering as a child. It is thought that there is often a genetic component to stammering and, interestingly, David’s uncle who also stammered, was treated by Lionel Logue.

The characters are charming, the story line fascinating but just as importantly viewers obtain an education on stammering and get an insight into the life of someone trying to overcome a major impediment – not just anyone, but a renowned King!

The King’s Speech blazed the trail in bringing SLTs into popular culture to deal with well recognized communication problems. It started a dialogue about stammering, provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges that people who stammer have to face and then destigmatized it.

 

So how common is a speech and language issue?

 

This is an important issue. 5% of children under the age of 5 will go through a stage of stammering at some stage and speech and language therapy has proven to be most effective where the problem is caught early enough. It is estimated that 1% of the adult population also stammer.

As major a problem as this is, the reality is this is the tip of the iceberg. Around 20% (AND I WILL SHOUT THAT FROM THE ROOFTOPS – 20%!!!) of us will experience a communication difficulty at some point in our lives (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists) and whilst some of those will be made up of people who stammer, a large proportion will have different communication challenges.

Despite this common problem, the speech and language profession remains a mystery to many and deals with far more issues than just stammering.

It is estimated that 1 in 20 children under the age of 5 will go through a stage of stammering at some stage. Speech and language therapy has proven to be most effective with children under 5 years where the problem is caught early enough. About 1% of the adult population stammers. As well as King George VI, famous people who are reported to have had problems with stammering include a whole host of household names from screen and stage including Emily Blunt, Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman, Ed Sheeran, Samuel L Jackson, James Earl Jones, Bruce Willis and Elvis Presley.

 

Why is there lack of understanding from the the general public on what speech and language therapists do?!

 

In 2006 * one third of 651 school students reported that they knew nothing about speech and language therapy and some of those asked commented that SLT is not portrayed in the media or on TV and medical dramas. Which explains part of the problem.

SLTs reach out to all areas of society to help improve communication problems and make a huge different to quality of life. There are currently over 16,000 speech and language therapists working across the UK in a range of different settings and with different client groups.

We have come a long way since the time of King George’s rule. Then speech production was the main focus of the profession. As the profession has progressed it continues to work with both adults and children in the remediation of speech sound challenges and stammering. However, the role has grown to include therapy for language (supporting understanding and expression of language in areas such as vocabulary and sentence structure) and more recently in the 21st century, social communication disorders. SLTs also assess and support eating, drinking and swallowing as well as voice disorders and they support children and adults all around the world.

Therapy for adults who have had a stroke can lead to overall improvement in health and increase their participation in daily events. For children with social communication disorders, intense therapy can support more independent living as adults (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists).

 

Speech and Language Therapy Today

 

The field of speech and language therapy has greatly improved in terms of both theory and efficacy since the time of King George. We now work closely with many other professionals. We liaise and make decisions in teams and make clinical decisions based on years of research. When it comes to accessing speech and language therapy, clients have many choices too; via the NHS or private therapy. Our mission to improve the lives of our clients remains the same, but we are armed with many more tools.

A recent advancement in the profession has seen many people take an interest in tele-therapy through exciting new innovations like Iris Speaks – allowing children and parents to access high quality professional speech and language therapy in the comfort of their own home to fit around their lives.

Lionel Logue had an immense impact on world history by assisting the King in delivering a speech on the brink of World War 2.  Having successfully treated the King, he received a letter on 8th January 1945.

King George wrote ‘I wonder if you realise how grateful I am to you for having made it possible for me to carry out this vital part of my job. I cannot thank you enough.’

It’s not every day speech and language therapists help a King change the course of history. But every day SLTs change the lives of the people they treat.

 

*Greenwood, Wright and Bithell, 2006 (expert practice: a critical discourse – Alison Ferguson.)

Written by Carolyn Fox, Children’s Speech and Language Therapist

 

Sources: NHS Choices, British Stammering Association, The Stuttering Foundation.

Related Links:

Does my child have a speech or language issue?

Where can I access speech and language therapy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King%27s_Speech

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/8223897/The-Kings-Speech-the-real-story.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Logue

http://www.stutteringhelp.org

https://www.stammering.org

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stammering/Pages/Introduction.aspx

https://www.rcslt.org

 

 

How can speech and language therapy help my child?

How can speech and language therapy help my child?

How can speech and language therapy help my child?

Speech and language therapy can help by providing treatment, support and care for children who have difficulties with communication.

Speech and language therapists are qualified health professionals who can support children with primary speech, language and communication difficulties, such as stammering as well as speech, language and communication difficulties that are secondary to other conditions such as learning difficulties and hearing problems.

Speech and language therapists also support premature babies and infants with conditions such as cerebral palsy, cleft palate and Down’s syndrome from very early in life. They may have difficulties with drinking, swallowing and early play and communication skills.

17 areas speech and language therapists help with

Here are just some of the important ways that speech and language therapists can help your child:

– Pre-school language problems

– Delayed development

– Trouble understanding meanings, gestures, directions or answering questions

– Problems identifying words, objects and pictures

– Problems putting words into sentences or learning new vocabulary, songs or rhymes

– Having difficulty understanding what others say

– Poor pronunciation

– Speech and language delays

– Stammering or speech difficulties

– Falling behind in learning numbers, letters, spelling or telling the time

– Learning disabilities

– Not being able to form words (Apraxia)

– Early play and communication skills

– Autism

– Asperger Syndrome

– ADHD

– Hearing difficulties

 

The list is not exhaustive – and speech and language therapists can help your child in a range of other ways.

 

The important thing to remember is that every child is different and that is why a qualified speech and language therapist will assess your exact needs and development goals to come up with a plan to help meet these vital communication needs.

 

Iris Speaks provides an initial consultation to determine if your child could benefit from speech and language therapy. Then, if you feel a speech and language therapist can help, we undertake a full expert assessment of your child’s exact needs and organise a personalised and flexible ongoing programme of support just for you and your child. 

Access the best UK based speech and language therapists from anywhere in the world 7 days a week online and at home. Visit irisspeaks.com/consultation to book to speak to us now.

Related articles:

How to tell if your child has a speech or language issue

How can I access speech and language therapy for my child?

5 common myths about online speech therapy

How can I access Speech and Language Therapy for my child?

How can I access Speech and Language Therapy for my child?

How can I access speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy can be a vital way to help improve the quality of life of your son or daughter by helping them communicate, learn, develop their language and achieve their true potential.

Expert therapy is carried out by qualified Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) who are trained to help children and adults improve their communication abilities and skills.

SLTs usually work with children, and their parents, on an individual basis to provide a customised programme of support to meet specific needs and goals. This is usually based on a development plan that identifies key communication, language and learning difficulties and how to help overcome these and reach important goals and milestones.

The NHS

Speech and language therapy can be accessed free of charge on the NHS. You can contact your local NHS Speech and Language Therapy service, or speak to your GP, Health Visitor or school staff about a referral. Some schools also employ specialist speech and language therapists where demand is high with many children needing urgent improvement in their learning and language skills.

If you get referred to the NHS you will normally be put on a waiting list to access speech and language therapy.

However, waiting lists can be long. According to a survey by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists some children have had to wait a year to see a therapist. The institution suggests quality of care has been impacted by NHS cuts as half of services across the NHS, schools and local authorities in the UK have had budgets significantly reduced.

Private speech therapy

The alternative to the NHS waiting lists is private therapy with qualified speech and language therapists. You can contact speech and language therapists directly without an NHS referral. You will need to pay for any therapy. But the advantage is you can start assessing and addressing your child’s communication problems much sooner and seek improvements when it can matter most.

As well as Iris Speaks, which provides access to affordable speech and language assessment and therapy in your own home, you can contact the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice to find your local independent therapists.

This sort of service also allows you to make appointments at times to suit you and your child and see therapists more frequently to maximise the impact and improvements for your son or daughter.

You can top up your NHS therapy

And remember accessing an independent speech and language therapist doesn’t have to mean you lose your place in the NHS queue.

You can see a therapist before you get NHS treatment and continue, if you wish to, in conjunction with, or after any help you get from the NHS.

Whichever route you choose, timely and effective speech and language therapy can have a vital impact on the communication and quality of life of your child.

Iris Speaks helps parents by providing quick, affordable and flexible access to qualified and highest quality speech and language therapists for children in their own home.

 

Useful links:

Royal Collegeof Speech and Language Therapists

https://www.rcslt.org

https://www.rcslt.org/speech_and_language_therapy/finding_an_SLT

Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice:

http://www.talkingpoint.org.uk/parents/speech-and-language/speech-and-language-therapy-assessment

ICAN – The Child Communication Charity:

http://www.ican.org.uk/

https://www.helpwithtalking.com/

Related articles:

What is speech and language therapy?

How to tell if my child has a speech or language issue

How can speech and language therapy help my child?

 

 

 

 

So what actually is speech and language therapy?

So what actually is speech and language therapy?

What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy is all about improving the quality of life of children and adults by helping them communicate more effectively.

It can help people of all ages, from your son or daughter through to your relatives or friends.

20%, or one in 5 of us, may experience communication difficulties at some point, so speech and language therapy is vital in improving so many aspects of our lives.

Who does speech and language therapy help?

Speech and language therapy can help children who are struggling to communicate or learn and develop their language or speech – from infants, pre-school children, to those in their early school years and beyond.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists highlights that speech, language and communication needs are the most common type of special education needs in those aged 4-11 years old.

Expert therapy may address speech and language communication difficulties, such as stammering, which in itself affects 1 in 20 children, pronunciation difficulties, difficulty in putting sentences together or understanding words, their meanings or what parents and teachers are saying.

Speech and language therapy can also help other conditions such as learning difficulties or hearing problems. Or even picking up and understanding English as a second language.

ICAN, the children’s communication charity, estimates more than 1 million children in the UK have communication difficulties.

What do speech and language therapists do?

Speech and language therapists are qualified experts that provide much needed learning and communication skills to children so that they can fulfil their potential, and not be left behind when they are infants, at school or as they grow up. They also work with adults to help them with acquired communication disorders like the impact of a stroke, head injury and memory or swallowing issues with dementia.

 

Iris Speaks understands family lives are hectic. So we enable parents to access qualified speech and language therapists for children at a time that works for your family and in the secure and comforting environment of your own home.  

 

 

Useful links:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

https://www.rcslt.org

 

ICAN – The Child Communication Charity:

http://www.ican.org.uk/

Related articles:

How can I tell if my child has a speech or language issue?

A Fascination with Language Acquisition

A Fascination with Language Acquisition

My love affair with language acquisition started to hot up when I was 16. Instead of taking English Literature A’ Level I took English Language. The careers officer told me that if I was interested in journalism (I was) as a career that this would be the more relevant option. I was just glad I didn’t have to analyse Shakespeare texts for another two years.

English Language A Level??!?

Over the next two years I studied the history of the English Language. Some monk named Bede popped up a fair bit. We wrote articles in different styles, we learnt grammar from scratch. Quite a shock to get to 16 and not understand why a sentence is constructed as it is – very enlightening. If you fancy learning more I recommend anything by David Crystal. What stuck in my head most was Language Acquisition (Chomsky vs Piaget / Genetics vs environment), Phonetics and Discourse Analysis.

The obsession starts with language acquisition

There was a nursery at the Sixth Form College and we got to sit in with the kids with tape recorders (yes ancient) and record and learn from how they responded to questions and conversed with each other. I couldn’t get enough. Little would I know how much this whole area would come to absorb my life when 15 years later I went to work at The Makaton Charity Then leave to build my own business around a language development software platform called MyChoicePad. With my next venture Iris Speaks I want to raise awareness and encourage the general public to re/discover and enjoy language and communication.

Watch and learn

If you are as fascinated by me on how our brains deal with language acquisition or maybe you’ve got a little one at home or a grandchild and are amazed at how fast they develop. Then I really recommend you give yourself 20 minutes break to watch this TED talk. It combines by loves for language acquisition and tech.

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language — so he wired up his house with video cameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son’s life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch “gaaaa” slowly turn into “water.” Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

Deb Roy: The birth of a word

If you’re interested in finding out more check out our free tailored 10 part inbox speech and language therapy courses. Designed by our Iris Speaks Experts to help your family on their speech and language journey. Sign up here!

Info Box: Who benefits from Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and language therapy benefits people of all ages, for example:

Infants: SLTs support premature babies and infants with conditions such as cerebral palsy, cleft palate and Down syndrome from very early in life who have difficulties with drinking, swallowing and early play and communication skills.

Children: SLTs support children with primary speech, language and communication difficulties, such as stammering, as well as speech, language and communication difficulties that are secondary to other conditions such as learning difficulties and hearing problems.

Adults with learning difficulties: SLTs support adults who have developmental conditions such as learning disabilities, autism and Down syndrome.

Adults: SLTs support adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties as a result of medical conditions, such as stroke, head and neck cancer, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Source: RCSLT

 

The Power of Your Voice in Life

The Power of Your Voice in Life

If you run your own business, or lead a team in a large corporate or maybe have a growing brood at home you will have experienced many times people not listening to you. Using your voice and being able to articulate yourself clearly is the key to being understood, building leadership skills, getting cooperation from angst-ridden teens.

Social communication is one of the areas that speech and language therapists help people with. The popularity of The Kings’s Speech and the coverage of broadcast journalist Nick Robinson getting his voice back after cancer treatment has given much needed press to the amazing work of speech and language therapists. It’s a profession little understood until you or a loved one is in the position that they need to see one.

The role of speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) provide life-improving treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking or swallowing. So it goes a lot further than stammering and pronunciation!

Nearly 20% of the population may experience communication difficulties at one point in their lives.

Source: RCSLT

Effective social communication is an essential part of establishing your own identity and being understood if you are finding people are not listening then there are a few tips you can pick up to improve.

Listen to me!

“The human voice. It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the whole world probably, it’s the only one that can start a war or say I love you. Yet many people have the experience that when they speak people don’t listen to them. Why is that? How can we speak powerfully to make a number of changes in the world?”

Julian Treasure has a wonderful TED talk on just this subject. He goes onto explain the 7 deadly sins of speaking

  1. Gossip
  2. Judging
  3. Negativity
  4. Excuses
  5. Complaining
  6. Exaggeration
  7. Dogmatism

We need to avoid these if we want to be listened to more.

He then goes onto speak about the four cornerstones if we want our speech to be powerful and contribute towards changing the world.

  1. Honesty
  2. Authenticity
  3. Integrity
  4. Love

It’s a really powerful talk – useful for all those of us who rely on our spoken word to get us ahead in the world. Check it out:

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

If you’re interested in finding out more check out our free tailored 10 part inbox speech and language therapy courses. Designed by our Iris Speaks Experts to help your family on their speech and language journey. Sign up here!