Movie brings appreciation to speech therapists

Story by KHON-2, Olena Heu

See video and link to KHON-2 story, featuring JABSOM’s Dorothy Craven, Dr. Henry Lew, Dr. Colette Coleman and Communication Sciences & Disorders students (Kimi and Summer). Click here to watch “Movie brings appreciation to speech therapists”

“The King’s Speech” took the top award at the Academy Awards last night, and the buzz is extending all the way to the islands.

The movie about a British king’s stutter is raising awareness of the work of speech therapists.

Speech impediments can take away one of the most important aspects of being human: communication.

“And therefore if you have impaired communication it can be a real hold back to your career,” said Speech-Language Pathologist, Dorothy Craven.

Oscar winning film, “The King’s Speech,” is shedding light on the field of speech-language pathology and its importance.

The movie is the story of King George VI as he struggles with a stutter. He gains confidence with the help of a speech therapist.

Dr. Henry Lew, KHON Videographer Justin Kanno,
Dorothy Craven and KHON Reporter Olena Heu

“I must say I was surprised the degree to which my friends suddenly all started calling me up saying, ‘Have you seen the movie? Have you seen the movie?” Craven said.

The movie earned millions at the box office and continues to get the nod from audiences around the globe, just like speech pathologists who say they continue to see the results of their teachings and therapy sessions years later.

“We do know that what we do works and that people are helped,” said Craven.

At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders includes the school of speech pathology and audiology.

“The University of Hawaii is the only program in the pacific to teach a course in speech pathology,” said Dr. Henry Lew from the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders.

The program was at risk of losing its accreditation two years ago because of maintenance, funding and faculty issues, but was saved and now boasts a credible record of success.

“I hate to brag but in the last five years we have not had a student that has failed the national exam,” Craven said.

They say speech pathology isn’t just working with people who stutter or lisp, it’s about helping people with brain injury, autism, war veterans and young children. Pathologists work in schools, hospitals and other organizations.

“I think it will generate interest and maybe have people know there’s more to speech pathology than just articulation,” said Kimi Kwock, a student studying pathology.

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