Time Since Stroke: 3 months
Cliff was a highly educated scientist who wanted to return to work as soon as possible. He’d sustained a head injury after losing consciousness and falling. He periodically became very discouraged by the difficulty of learning to read and write at a high-level again. Like many people with aphasia, he had high expectations of himself and his progress.
- Fluent speech but severe word-finding problems
- Little reading or writing—this needed to be very strong for his profession
- No awareness when he wasn’t being clear
He “talked around” the missing words, gave long-winded responses that never answered the question. He didn’t know when he was substituting words while speaking. When more than one speaker was present, he had a difficult time following conversation. Initially, the listener could follow his speech 64% of the time. Cliff needed help 50% of the time to say the desired word and to spell it with 80% accuracy. He could process approximately one piece of information at a time.
Treatment: 6 week program. We taught him strategies so that he could listen to and respond to questions effectively. He practiced listening to and giving presentations to the group members. Using the vocabulary and journal articles from his profession, he worked on naming, defining, and spelling target words, as well as increasing his processing speed for listening and reading.
Results: Cliff became more self-aware and using his strategies, maintained topic 100% of the time independently. He used the correct words/items in conversation with 90% accuracy. His reading and writing improved from single words to sentences. He returned to work full-time as a director of a department.