Tim’s father, Sam, had severe dysarthria, aphasia and dysgraphia as a result of his stroke. Tim liked the therapy approach of a process of learning, absorbing, using, learning, etc. Sam’s speech, confidence, and endurance all improved over his intensive session.
He went from zero speech, not being able to make a sound and no swallow reflex, to you guys have got him talking. It’s a slow process but he’s speaking in complete sentences. It’s still just a little bit slurred, but he’s doing really good. You guys have helped him a lot. And helped my family a lot, too because he and my mom would have killed each other if they hadn’t been able to communicate. And since he’s sick it would have been a 50-50 shot 2-to-1 battle.
You guys have just made it a lot easier. As far as coming down here goes and the set-up with housing. We came down here and had a place to stay, really located close to the school. St. Petersburg has been great. We’d had choices to go other places in the country that were in a lot bigger metropolitan area and a setting that was much more of hospital type setting. This is much more of a school type setting, and family. It’s like going and hanging out with your buddies. For some that might work for other people the other way, but for my dad he was much more hanging out with his friends and learning to talk again without the pressure.
He was a little scared at first. He’s a little bit of an overachiever, as I’m sure you figured out already. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to do what y’all wanted him to do. For a 76 year old guy that’s had a stroke, and we got here when we were at 12-13 weeks out, his strength wasn’t back yet and it was really hard for him to make it through the day, but it’s been really good for him. His endurance is better, his strength is better, his speech is way better. You guys have got him writing, actually writing with his left-hand. You’re really cool about the integration of technology. Because he was a civil engineer and running his own business, he’s technologically literate and you guys have taken and encompassed that and been able to get him to use his iPad, his iPhone, the Skype thing - you guys are going to do some training over the internet is awesome! That will help him a lot and and give him something to do.
He’s laughing again. He’s smiling. He’s getting back to his old self again. Smart aleck remarks and a little jibjab fun and he’s getting back to his old self.
It’s intensive, you come in at 9 he’s out at 2, plus with Annika, and Kristin, and you and the switching of the classes. It’s not all just this jackhammer trying to get him to learn. It’s much more of a learn - absorb - use, learn - absorb - use, a little lunch break, a little group, after that you kind of get back together and seem to go over the days activities, and then get the homework assignments. And the homework assignments have been really good, too.