Age: 54 years old
Time Since Injury: 11 months since stroke
- Speech difficult to understand due to dysarthria
- Speech was mostly 1-3 word sentences (“pour drink”, “two house”)
- Had to stop working at his own business
- Wanted his family and employees to understand him without constantly repeating himself
Assessment: Vern’s comprehension for conversation, simple questions, and simple commands was relatively good. Approximately 50% of his speech was understandable. His main issue was distorting vowel sounds (‘ship’ for ‘sheep’). A large burden was placed upon the listener to participate in conversation, especially if the topic wasn’t known.
Treatment: 6 week program. Using every day activities and work tasks, we addressed his speech intelligibility in person and on the phone. Since Vern’s aphasia was mild compared to his speech problems, we focused on increasing his intelligibility and the length of his sentences to give more information to the listener.
Results: Vern started speaking in 4-word sentences by his 3rd week of treatment with 80% intelligibility. He progressed to ordering the daily lunch on the phone. On client cooking day, he helped write out a list of ingredients needed for a fish fry and found these items at a local store with no assistance from a clinician. He independently asked a store clerk where to find certain items. By the end of the program, his speech was 80-90% intelligible at least 75% of the time.
On standardized testing, his overall aphasia score increased by 16%. Naming and word-finding increased by 32%, and overall reading and writing increased by 8%. His family rated his improvement at 33-39% in the areas of getting involved in group conversations, understanding writing, and speaking with strangers.