Do you Know How Widespread is the Need for Speech Therapy?

Many business actors, actresses, executives, professional athletes and even political leaders had speech problems from stuttering to lisping. And many could use speech therapy. King George VI was so ashamed by his stuttering that he sought out a speech-language pathologist and through the treatment significantly improved his public speaking.

Do you have any idea how many people suffer from speech impediments and could use speech therapy?  Or do you know how many famous people suffered from speech impediments?  As you read through the list below, keep in mind one thing.  These people didn’t let their challenge prevent them accomplishing amazing things some of which still impact our lives today!

James Earl Jones

The famous actor James Earl Jones has appeared on television, on Broadway and in several movies. Perhaps he is most well known for his voice as Darth Vader in Star Wars.  Others know him as the voice of CNN. But Jones is not ashamed of his speech impediment.  He is proudly featured in the Stuttering Foundation’s Famous People Who Stutter brochure.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is undoubtedly one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time.  He is the proud owner of a record 22 medals (18 of them gold!).  He confesses that as a child he was teased about his speech problem.  He admits that “When I talked fast, I’d drop my Ls and add Ss to words, and if I tried to tell people I didn’t have a lisp, I’d usually lisp the word lisp,”

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods became one of the most successful professional golfers of all time at a very young age.   Although “Tiger” as he is fondly referred to suffered from a stutter as a child, through hard work and practice he was able to get beyond it.  He would do whatever it took, even talking to his dog.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 until 1955. Aside from literally saving the European Continent from the Nazis during World War II, Churchill was a statesman and orator of note.  He was always working to overcome impediments which consisted of both stuttering and a lisp.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States. He was a political philosopher and a real Renaissance Man.  Despite suffering from a lisp and a slight stutter, he authored the Declaration of Independence.  Also, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of the University of Virginia.

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton is the most famous scientists in history.  He founded the three laws of motion along with principles of Universal Gravitation. Many scientific theories over the past 350 years have been built upon his work.  Newton requested Parliament’s windows be shut so the people outside wouldn’t hear his stuttering. Speech therapy would have helped!

You Don’t What You Can Do

Many are stymied sometimes even broken by life’s challenges.  However, there are others who see their challenge as just that–a challenge.  They never say to themselves, “This is all that I can do.”  That indefatigable spirit coupled with the unwavering commitment to work hard can take a person very far as evidenced by those above.  Who would like to be added to this list?