Speech-Language Therapy in the Movies

As speech-language pathologists (SLPs), my coworkers and I were all excited to see an SLP hold a prominent role in a movie when “The King’s Speech” hit theatres last winter. All of the sudden other people had an interest in a movie we wanted to see!  Little does everyone know we have a few other favourites that circulate around our water cooler conversations, not because they deal specifically with our profession, but because they feature the people we work with.

One of my personal favourites is “Autism: the Musical”.  This is a documentary which follows five children with Autism who take part in a project to write and perform their own full length musical.  Under the guidance of one mother’s vision and many parents determination, the musical allows these special kids to explore their creativity and show off their talents.  As an SLP I loved watching it to get some perspective on thinking outside the box to help children with autism realize their potential and showcase accomplishments.

Another movie I recently stumbled across is called “Wretches and Jabberers.”  It’s the story of two grown men with autism, Larry and Tracy, who embark on a world tour to advocate for people with disabilities.   Larry and Tracy communicate by typing to augment their speech. On their journey they meet
others who use similar forms of communicating. In the SLP world this is called AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and the movie is a great example of how AAC can be used to open up a world of communicating.  Larry and Tracy’s views are profound and often poetic. I highly recommend it.

Jana Zalmanowitz, M.Cl.Sc.
Speech-Language Pathologist (C)

 

The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada
www.speechtherapycentres.com

4 responses to “Speech-Language Therapy in the Movies

  1. Hi Jana: Where were you able to watch Wretches and Jabberers? I knew about it before it came out but there were only limited public screenings at selected venues. I’d love to see it – Angie D’Aoust, CASLPA Communications

  2. Another film you may enjoy is ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’, which is about a man who after having a stroke, uses a communication system of eye blinking and eye pointing with his speech and language therapist to write a book about his life.

    Great to see an awareness of speech therapy being raised in the movies!

    Sarah 🙂

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