Sunday, May 08, 2011

The King's Speech

I noticed several years ago, while walking through a hallway in a speech clinic that serves as a pre-professional training facility, a display of informational posters dedicated to speech disorders. Each was dedicated to teaching the public something about common disorders of articulation, anatomy, etc., with cutesy titles and cool visuals. One of the posters caught my eye; near the center of the display, in bold, beautifully colored blue letters, was a poster titled:


I was heartbroken.

What the poster told me, despite the best intentions of the author, was that the condition of stuttering was more important to the clinic than the individuals who come there for help. The clinic saw the condition as their primary focus, and the people who came there as simply the way in which the disorder was delivered to them.

Clearly, there was no thought given to how that title would affect the hundreds of people who came to the clinic weekly for treatment.

I hope the administrators of that speech clinic require students to watch The King's Speech. If they do, they will see that disorders -- of articulation, or anything else for that matter -- are simply one part in an otherwise full life of individuals. People are not defined by, nor should they be identified by, a label. When therapists realize that the deep, personal connection with clients helps build trust and leads to a reduction of symptoms, they become better clinicians.

Lionel Logue knew this. And King George VI benefited from it. And The King's Speech shows the process beautifully.

1 comment:

Missy said...

Great perspective Marc. Haven't seen this movie yet but now want to more than ever.