Good News

British teen with acute stammer finds his voice

Good News

The video begins with a reference to the film, The King's Speech.

It ends with something just as victorious.

Grab a few tissues before you watch.

British teen Musharaf Asghar has been battling an acute stammer "since I can remember," he said, and had been bullied for his inability to clearly communicate with his peers.

The school quickly cracked down on the bullying — "After that my school life was amazing and I can't think of anywhere I would rather have gone to school," Musharaf said of Thornhill Community Academy, which decided to help him exceed in the one area he was faltering: oral presentations.

Matthew Burton, a teacher at the school, helped prepare the 16-year-old model student for his oral exams using the music-through-headphones strategy seen in the award-winning film about King George's battle for a voice.

The coaching paid off.

"The most amazing moment for me was when I finally managed to speak in Mr. Burton's class. I was preparing for the oral part of my English GCSE. It was worth 20% of my overall marks and I was getting really stressed out about it. Then Mr. Burton suggested I practise in front of him, using headphones. My speech is better with people I know anyway, but I felt so free when I put the headphones on I was able to get my words out clearly. The poem we were working on was called The Moment and it really was a moment I will remember for ever," Musharaf wrote in the Guardian.

Musharaf, or "Mushy" as his friends call him, brought a room of 200 classmates and teacher to tears with an inspirational speech about overcoming his toughest obstacle.

His speech is now going viral.

Thanks in part to succeeding at his oral exams, Musharaf got into the college of his choice.

"I was excited, if nervous, about the whole thing going out," Musharaf said of being featured on the British program Educating Yorkshire. "But I'm really happy and proud to be on telly as I hope it gives other people with a stammer the confidence to have a go at public speaking. My speech is getting better every week. Everyone at college gives me time, but I'm getting quicker anyway so they don't miss their bus while they are listening to me. I still won't be applying for any call-centre jobs yet though.

Musharaf hopes he can be a role model for other young people with speech issues.

"Even if you do have a stutter, don’t be afraid," he encouraged.

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