‘King’s Speech’ technique helps St Albans boy

TECHNIQUES shown in the award-winning film The King’s Speech have benefited a child from St Albans, who has stuttered for many years.

Farris Ul-Rhaman, a Mandeville Primary School pupil, gained a better understanding of the factors that influence stammering and stuttering and how to overcome them after attending a week-long intensive course.

The 10 year old worked with groups of young people afflicted by the same condition and they used methods shown in the Oscar-winning movie to improve speaking fluency.

Farris said he learnt on the course to breathe in and out when speaking to help control his stutter and he believes his anxiety about talking has reduced.

He said: “I was glad to meet other people that stutter because I thought I was the only person.”

Farris is now supporting the Hello Campaign, a national year-long initiative to make children’s communication development a priority in UK homes and schools.

He added: “I’d like to say – don’t be afraid of stuttering and to breathe deeply. Before I was worried that I was going to get bullied but now I’m fine because I have lots of friends.”

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The course that supported Farris was run by the Herts Community NHS Trust and Su Johnston, head of Herts children speech and language therapy service, said: “For children like Farris, their daily struggle to communicate means they are shut out from many aspects of life. Over a million children and young people in the UK have some form of long-term communication difficulty.

“As we know from The King’s Speech, this can affect them severely and for life.”

Further events to help children in Herts who suffer from stammering will be held throughout the year. For more information contact Karen Clarke on 01727 734023.