SOURCE: American Institute for Stuttering

American Institute for Stuttering

February 24, 2011 13:03 ET

The American Institute for Stuttering Speaks Out on Disorder

Available for Media Interviews - Chamonix Sikora, Executive Director of the American Institute for Stuttering; Ms. Sikora Is an Expert in the Field of Stuttering; 917-494-0725

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) - Imagine a prison where your every word -- whether face-to-face, on the phone, or to a crowd -- was restricted. You knew the words that you wanted to communicate, but could not get them out. 

King George VI of England experienced this prison in a very public manner as witnessed in The King's Speech when the King (Colin Firth) courageously faces the enormous challenge of speaking to the nation at the brink of World War II. Colin Firth has received universal praise for his eloquent performance, which has thrust the plight of stuttering into the spotlight.

"The King's Speech is a magnificent film, and it has had an enormous and important impact on our cause because it shows that anyone can have a stuttering disorder -- even a king," said Chamonix Sikora, Executive Director of the American Institute for Stuttering. "We congratulate Colin for his Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, and we wish him the best of luck at the Oscars." 

More than 3 million Americans and 60 million people worldwide are affected by stuttering. This debilitating speech disorder can come to rule every aspect of a person's life. Stuttering is a widespread disability that affects approximately 7% of children and 1% of adults. It is a genetic and neurological disorder that is not, as many assume, caused by anxiety. Stuttering is often dismissed as a minor hindrance, when in fact it can govern a person's life, affecting their education, relationships, and career. Greatly misunderstood, stuttering is one of the few disorders that provoke undeserved shame by humiliation and even laughter by an uninformed public. 

The American Institute for Stuttering serves children and adults who stutter with specialized speech therapy. Their goal is to help clients achieve freedom and confidence in the face of stuttering. Their clients have come from across the United States and over a dozen countries around the world. The organization also trains speech-language pathologists in the expertise of stuttering therapy and engages and encourages people who stutter worldwide.

"Stuttering is extremely complex and often misunderstood, but help is available for anyone at any age," explained Ms. Sikora. "Whether it's early intervention for a young child or equipping someone to tackle a stressful job interview, we've been fortunate to help people gain lasting freedom from the disability of stuttering. It's a life-changing experience, both for the client and the clinician."

Many individuals have overcome a stuttering problem and gone on to excel in all professional fields, including those that call for public speaking like acting, teaching, and politics.

About the American Institute for Stuttering
The American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States that offers state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to professionals. AIS offers a range of services, including early intervention therapy for children as young as two years old, support to school-age children (who are more often bullied than their peers), group therapy courses that accommodate diverse schedules, and a unique three-week intensive treatment program. AIS also teaches their innovative therapy approach to speech-language pathologists, who traditionally are inexperienced in treating stuttering, to meet the great need for specially trained therapists. AIS is committed to advancing public understanding of stuttering and worked in Washington, D.C. to increase federal funding for research of the disorder.

Chamonix Sikora, an expert in the field of stuttering, is a speech-language pathologist (licensed with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), a Board-Recognized Specialist in the treatment of stuttering, and serves as the Executive Director of the American Institute for Stuttering.

For more information about stuttering and AIS, please visit http://stutteringtreatment.org.

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