Intensive Aphasia Therapy has given us back our conversation

Regina's husband, John, had severe conduction aphasia. She is most thankful that they can now have a conversation. They continue to use the tools they've learned to keep getting better

I just felt that if I could get him 6-8 weeks of solid just where we’re just going to focus on the speech because his right side is weak but he can walk, he can move his arms. He doesn’t have any paralysis or anything like that, I just wanted to focus on the speech. To get him to where it would start jarring things and bringing things back at a quicker pace, than you know 1 hour here, 1 hour there. Because once you get out of the day rehab you’re’ basically down to 2-3 days a week for an hour and it’s not what you need at this point. You need intensive speech therapy to bring back as much as you can as quickly as you can but then to have that basis that you can then just keep moving forward. It’s like a jump start the way i look at it, like a good solid jumpstart.

He had no word recognition, absolutely none. He would talk and he thought he was making sense and we’d all be standing there looking at each other like “I don’t have a clue as to what he’s saying”, but he didn’t realize that. To him, what he was saying made perfect sense.

Since he’s been down here, he remembers all our names, sometimes it takes him a moment but he remembers all our names. He has gotten word recognition. He has started to read, it is slow but it is going to be that way. He started to recognize words. He tries to talk, he uses the tools that he’s been taught. He will, again, it is slow, but before we came down here he and I could not have a conversation, not even for a minute. Now we can sit in the evenings and he can sit across from me and we can probably have a ten minute conversation where it’s give and take. As normal a conversation as you’re gonna have with somebody who has aphasia because they do struggle.

His vocabulary has increased tremendously, so many more words are coming out of his mouth. He is using so many more words. They helped him to recognize the tools of his trade the things that he did as his job. They’ve helped him with all of that. He wants to learn. It’s like it sparked him to want to learn. He knows that it’s there and he knows that it can come out now. It’s gonna take awhile but it’s eventually gonna come out, he’s eventually gonna say the word and it’s given him that. I just wanted him to have vocabulary and I wanted to him to know that the words were in there. For him to have the awareness that it’s going to take a while to come out but it’s there.

Plus I wanted to learn what I could do to help him to make conversation easier for him and not just by putting words in his mouth, or saying, “you mean the car or are you talking about the keys,” where you’re guessing 50 different things. The program has given us the tools, the keywords, you write them down, it sparks something that then gives him the other words to complete the sentence to say where are the car keys. Once that gets going, the words just come out.

He can have a conversation, he could not have a conversation before. He wants to have a conversation and that’s really important instead of just sitting there and letting everyone talking around him. I would highly recommend this program but what I have really enjoyed Dr. Lori and the staff is how they gear the program to what your life is about. What’s important to John, not just, “do you know that’s a cat, do you know that’s a dog?”. She’s given him back the ability to talk about things that he talked about prior to stroke. It’s given him the tools he needs to just keep moving forward to want to have conversation. To know that the words are in there and it’s just a matter of time for them to come out that they’ll come out. It has given him and I our conversation back, it really has.