Tuesday, January 09th at 9 pm on ITV Taster clip ‘School For Stammerers’
School for Stammerers
Tuesday, January 09th at 9 pm on ITV
One-off documentary, School for Stammerers, follows the emotional journey of six individuals as they attempt to achieve the one thing that could change their lives – control of their stammer.
A lorry driver, a teacher, a pharmacist, a professional photographer, and two schoolboys have all agreed to undergo a course that can transform a stammerer’s speech.
The McGuire Programme is an intensive and emotionally-charged residential course run by former stammerers. The course uses physical and psychological techniques and can lead to life-changing results.
The new class includes 25-year-old wedding photographer Jessica Davies who is engaged but refuses to choose a date for her wedding until she can say her vows. 53-year-old lorry driver Tony Robinson developed his stammer as a child when his parents divorced. One family member used to rap him on the knuckles when he stammered, which made it worse. He’d love to be a joker and the centre of attention but chose to be a lorry driver as it’s such a solitary job, with no need for interaction with others. 29-year-old pharmacist Mueid Kaleem has chosen to retreat from the outside world. He never socialises and spends all his spare time with his family. 13-year-old Riley Partridge and James Critchlow are the youngest students on the course. Riley says his stammer makes him feel like a jigsaw with missing pieces. He says his world is getting smaller and smaller as his stammer is cutting him off from so many of the things that he wants to do. James was badly bullied in his primary school. And newly qualified teacher 21-year-old Emily Booth thinks it’s her stammer that is preventing her from getting the job she’s always wanted. Since university, it’s affected every interview. After successfully finishing teacher training she’s watched as all her peers get their first jobs while she didn’t.
Day 1: The stammerers are taught a physical technique called costal breathing. At the end of the day, they’re challenged to stand and say their name to the room without stammering – something that just 24 hours ago would have been impossible.
Day 2: The emphasis is placed on the psychological aspect of stammering, talking about the fear of speaking and how to overcome it and build up self-confidence. The students are taught to no longer avoid the words and letter sounds they’ve never been able to say.
Day 3: Once their confidence is up and they’ve started to get to grips with the technique, they go out onto the street and approach 100 people, introducing themselves and explaining that they have a stammer, to break the fear of both speaking to strangers and having their stammer exposed.
Ending the course… Bigger public challenges follow, they’ll be challenged to speak on a soapbox in Trafalgar Square and at the end of the course, every student gets to speak in front of their amazed and emotional friends and family.