Time Since Stroke: 14 years
Ginger was a friendly and hard-working young woman who had a stroke in her early 30’s. She had a severe non-fluent aphasia, a young daughter and a family business. She became significantly more shy and embarrassed about her speech, losing her husband and her social hobbies. After years of therapy, she was still embarrassed by her speech, but decided to keep working to make it better.
Assessment: While she spoke in 3-4 word sentences, the listener had to do most of the work to understand. For example, “Babies, um, me, um, babies born me do” would mean “I help the babies being born”. She had little to no usable writing except for her name. She could read some single words but always said that she couldn’t read at all. Ginger came to the program wanting to learn to read better, to write checks, to write and understand numbers, and to read and write emails. Her comprehension was good except for complex commands. Moderate Broca’s aphasia with apraxia.
Treatment: 8 weeks part-time. She began the program for 4 weeks, then decided that since she was making so much progress she wanted to continue for another 4 weeks.
She learned to use strategies to help her read and write emails. She learned how to write checks and practiced writing important words. She practiced making phone calls and roleplaying business interactions. She also worked on a better sentence structure for speaking so people could more easily communicate with her.
Results: Ginger and her family were thrilled that she could call vendors and employees as well as write checks and read invoices. One vendor even commented on how well and how quickly she wrote his check. She learned how to add drawing and writing to her communication. She could read sentences and her email online. While she was nervous at first, she quickly learned that she could be successful with all types of communication.