Aphasia Therapy, what's the point if I can't get to 100%?

Dr. Bartels knows clients with aphasia can become discouraged with the recovery process. Many clients frame their progress in terms of “getting back to how I used to be”, which can be an overwhelming outlook. Dr. Bartels encourages her clients to focus on the next step in the process.

So the question is “If I’m not going to get back or close to 100% then what’s the point?”

And you’re the only one that can answer that question, so it really depends on what you want as your end goal.

So if you can’t get back to 100%, just for argument’s sake, what percentage would be okay for you? Would you be okay with 80%? And then you have to say “What does 80% look like to me? What do I want to do that’s close to how I used to be if I can’t get all the way back there? So what if I can’t do presentations in front of large groups of people? Does that matter or not? What if I can’t answer my email? Is that important or not? Is that an 80%? What if I can call some place and talk on the phone? Or, what if I can operate my computer?”

So you have to think, 100% may be what you were like before your stroke. What pieces of that are really important right now to you? Some of that stuff you can worry about, or think about, or plan for later.

But you have to make your goals much shorter and much more concrete. It’s not “Oh, I’m gonna lose 50 pounds by next week”, it’s “Okay, what if I take this goal and break it into smaller pieces? What pieces of this are important to me?” So is it worth it to set a goal, is it worth it to go to therapy if I can do 80% out in the end? If I can do these things that I want to do, if I want to drive, if I want to be able to go to the grocery store, if I want to text somebody? You have to figure out where your goals are just for you versus what you used to be like before your stroke.