One % of the world population suffers from stuttering as per the available figures. However, various stages of stuttering have been revealed. The topic that we are going to discuss today is whether stuttering is curable or the victim has to live throughout the life with the speech problem.
To understand the answer for this question, it is necessary to find out what is the cause, of stuttering. Stuttering can happen due to various reasons. It has been observed that 50% of the cases stuttering are hereditary. Besides, there could be medical reasons which we will not talk about as it is beyond the scope of this discussion. Only qualified doctor will be able to comment on that.
What we are talking about is when there is no medical problem but still people stutter. It is necessary to understand how the words are formed and how the voice is created. The voice is created by the process of holding the breath in the lungs and releasing it through vocal cord. It produces sound not the words. The words are created by the speech organs. There are five speech organs which are; jaw, tongue, teeth, lips and palate. These organs are responsible for creating clear words. And, for bringing about efficacy of your speech. Clarity is critical. There is breath in the lungs and some breath is released when we want to speak. This breath strikes the vocal cord which is like a rubber membrane. The moment it strikes there is vibration and sound is produced but it is only sound. The words are created by the speech organs as I have said above.
These five speech organs work in tandem and words can be created only by using the organs. Furthermore if there is no breath, there can be no speech. In the normal speech, coordination between the mind and the release of breath and the movement by the speech organs are required. But mind thinks 10 times faster than the speech. This is the major problem. Whenever we have to make a speech in front of an audience we tend to forget what we wanted to speak. The person who stutters is in a hurry to say what he has prepared lest he forgets what they had prepared.
The fact is that it is very difficult to speak the way you have prepared. It is said that there are three types of speeches. This is true. One speech that we prepare to deliver. Second is the speech that we would have delivered. Third is the speech that we like to have delivered. But perfect coordination between the mind and the speech works better and controls and the release of breath by the lungs. Speech can therefore be best made when we ensure that there is perfect coordination between the mind that that is the thinking power and the breath in the lungs. It is observed that whenever you are not speaking clearly because of any of your problems, you need to relax and reassure yourself that you will not be in a hurry. You should start habit of thinking and speaking. When you think and speak chances are that you will be able to say what you want to say without stuttering. But it’s a tedious process. You have to continue this practice all the time. Habits die very hard. But you don’t have to forget. If you do, the old habit returns. You have just to accept that you are trying to do something which is difficult. It is bound to take time and effort. Perseverance is something that will come to your rescue.
When we think of the famous people who stuttered, the first name that to mind is that of King George VI, father of present Queen Elizabeth. There is a movie named the ‘King’s Speech’. It depicts not only the effort of the king but also that of the trainer who ensured that there is marked improvement and the King is the able to broadcast the speech. Speech was mandatory in the turbulent times of war with Hitler. Anyone who is having some interest in the subject must watch the movie. It’s also available on YouTube.
When we talk of other famous personalities who stuttered there are many. Marlin Munroe and Julia Roberts are the famous actors. Winston Churchill also stuttered. Tiger Woods does and so does Joe Biden.
In our country the two names which come before us are that of Hrithik Roshan famous actor and his uncle Roshan, the music director. EMS Namboouripad ex- Kerala Chief Minister was another famous personality with the problem. While there is no doubt that complete cure of stuttering is not claimed by any of the speech therapist, some improvement can definitely be achieved, with the continued practice and efforts.
If we go through the example of the King George the VI, it is depicted in the movie referred above; we find that more than a qualified speech therapist the trainer, the dedicated speech trainer may be in a better position to help. Its replacing the fallacious speech habits with those which will work. One may find the course of Voice Culture training of great advantage. It’s so not only for the people who stutter but also for those who want to speak impeccable language.