A chronic stammerer since childhood, Mushy, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was struggling with the oral part of his GCSE English, worth 20 per cent of the total mark. His teacher, Mr Burton, was in despair until by chance he watched the The King’s Speech, about how George VI overcame his stammer by addressing the nation while listening to music through headphones, which distracted him when reading aloud.
Using the same technique, Mushy gained his vital C grade, enabling him to go to college. When he delivered a thank you speech to the school, teachers and fellow pupils wept, as did many of the seven-million-plus viewers of the clip on YouTube.
Stammering is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1% of adults. Techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and speech therapy can help, but, according to the British Stammering Association, while children are more likely to benefit from treatment, there is no “cure” for adults. Musharaf says he is coming to terms with this. “I believe I will overcome it one day. It feels like having a little sibling,” he jokes. “Sometimes it can be annoying, and sometimes it is really easy to cope with.”
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