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    help with aphasia
    ziggydoo posted:
    My dad had a stroke in March of this year he has been in the hospital for rehab but he is still not able to go home yet so now he is at a nursing home. the stroke has affected his right side and his speech. he understands what we are saying just fine and his thinking skills are great he just has trouble getting it out. they have therapy at the nursing home but i am not sure yet how much speech therapy he is getting. my family figured anything we can do to help him improve his speech more would be great. so i was wondering if anyone would have any advice on ways to help my dad with his speech in fact any advice to help him be more mobile and do things for himself would be appreciated as well, thanks!
    loving19mom responded:
    My daughter had a stroke in aug 09, I worked with the therapist and helped her with memory and walked her every day in the hospital. After her release from the hospital I called her almost everyday ( lives in Ca,I live in Fl). Listen and help your dad stay calm. the biggest thing is frustation that they cannot get the words out and that increases their anxiety. Laughter is excellent to ease their tension. stay positive and very reassuring, it takes time. simple crossword puzzles help too...good luck
    Cindigal responded:
    I am so glad that i was browsing this board at this time. I have speech aphasia.....yess. I didnt have a stroke, but I sustained a brain injury when I was in a car accident and lost my speech ability about 50%. I was in the hospital for 2 months last year. I had a excellent speech therapist while I was in hospital.. in Fla. Soo.....I was put on SSDI the day i was admitted in the hospital, when i came back to IL i tried to get medicare.....they said that cause i am under 62, I have to wait 2 years to get medicare. My SSDI does not cover speech therapy. What do i do for myself for speech... read.. read read out loud so that I can HEAR myself. Also....even better is SINGING....the vocal cords get more stretched. I am sure your dad knows alot of songs from his time. Go to your computer and Google any song that he likes and print out the lyrics out for him. Then he can sing along with the lyrics. I hope this works for you.
    melpv1 responded:
    My mom (who is 59) had a stroke in December and had severe expressive aphasia. Like your dad, she could understand but could not get out any words. At first, my mom couldn't say anything but "ma". The doctors gave a pretty bleak prognosis and made it sound like she may not really be able to talk normally ever again.

    One of my friends gave me a tool from her classroom that had the alphabet, colors (labeled), numbers, and a few key action words with pictures that corresponded to the actions. We started therapy ourselves right in the hospital and would just label everything in her room. We talked to her normally, maybe just a little more slowly when we were saying long sentences to give her time to comprehend.

    After a few days, she began to say some words here and there, and she would point to the first letter of what she meant on the reading sheet. We did sing to her, and she sang along to "Old Man River" before she was able to say more than a few words at a time. Singing links to other areas of the brain, so patients with aphasia can sometimes sing when they can't speak.

    We kept quizzing her, asking her to point to the pencil or to a certain color, and we kept singing the abc's to her. While she was very frustrated at first, we really just kept going like there was no other option.

    Before she even got out of the hospital, she was able to say her abc's with only 1 or 2 mistakes. The doctors were really surprised at her progress and said that she would not need in-patient therapy as they had first thought. We actually got her into speech therapy 2 weeks before she was supposed to start and had her going one or two extra days.

    She had a lot of trouble with numbers especially even as she started getting more words out, but the therapy worked. Now, in July, she is about 99% back to normal. You'd never know that she had a stroke at all if she didn't tell you. She even went back to teaching by the end of the year.

    When we were in the hospital, my dad and sister were wrecks because the doctors made it sound so bleak. But you have to tell your dad that the brain is really miraculous and surprising. Other parts can take over for damaged areas. The key is to really KEEP GOING. Don't quit. You're still in the time where a great deal of recovery can take place. LABEL everything! Have confidence that the therapy will help. Watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, play word games, sing songs, do whatever you can think of! And print out labels and pictures to help him express himself in the meantime.
    Good luck!!!

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