Having severe Wernicke’s aphasia was very difficult for Troy’s family. They didn’t know how to best communicate with him and were very frustrated and lost. They scheduled a 6-week intensive aphasia session, but decided to extend it to 8 weeks after seeing Troy’s speech and understanding progress.
But still, one hour a day three days a week is not gonna make it, you know. So we had to find a lot of in-depth therapy for him. So our therapist there, I asked her one day, I said “You know when this therapy is up, what’s next?” I said “We need something more intense.”
And that’s when she told me that there were centers across the United States that did very intense aphasia therapy. And she helped me get online, helped me start my research. I found the Aphasia Center here in Florida, and she actually made a phone call down here, too, and talked to the people here at the facility. And that made me feel good that she liked what she heard. And then our two daughters and I started the research and all the paperwork and we felt very comfortable. And it’s just been wonderful down here.
So what kind of problems were you guys having before you came down here as far as his speech and your communication?
Well it’s just, it’s very frustrating for him and me both. I don’t believe at this point that his thought pattern was still totally where it is today. Just him trying to communicate and get me to understand what he was wanting was very frustrating. Me trying to understand what he wanted. There were days that I cried because I had just tried to, you know, understand what he wanted and it just got more frustrating for him all the time. You know we just had to find some way for us to communicate. He could not understand writing if you wrote something for him. He could not write. We basically didn’t have any, other than gestures, what few gestures we had managed to get together that we both understood, that was it.
So how has any of that changed, or what kind of changes have you seen since you guys have been here.
Oh lots, he’s gotten now where he can understand writing when its written. He can understand and show you what he wants. He understands a lot better the verbal that you speak to him. He understands that a lot better now. You can, the ways that you’ve worked with him, showing him picture cards and things like that has really broadened his reception of things. So it’s a lot better now. His spontaneous speech is just overwhelming now. Now still you’ve helped me to understand that his type of aphasia I can’t really expect to tell him to say something and him repeat it. I’m understanding that. I’m seeing now that we’re to the point that after eight weeks we’re beginning to come around on that. So I see that that’s in the future.
And so would you recommend this type of treatment for other people?
Oh definitely, definitely. Because I just don’t know where we would be if we hadn’t come down here. You know, we packed up. It’s hard, we packed up and moved away from home for six weeks. We decided to spend the extra two weeks. It’s hard being away from home, away from all your family and your friends for eight weeks but it’s been well worth it. Because he is just, he’s lots better. Our family is gonna be a lot better because of this. When he talks to his, for instance, he talked to his brother the night before last on the phone. And the conversation that he had with his brother, and he told his brother that he loved him at the end of the conversation. I think his brother was almost in tears. So the family is just overwhelmed at the response we’re getting.