Time Since Stroke: 2.5 years
Mitchell lived in a foreign country in which he was a physician. Unfortunately, his aphasia treatment was brief due to lack of therapists. He didn’t like to go out in the community to see friends because former patients would speak to him and he couldn’t understand or speak to them. He was embarrassed, so he stayed home. With no noticeable physical problems, the community didn’t understand that he had aphasia. Imagine living in a country in which there is no one else with aphasia in your area.
- No one to practice with at home
- Embarrassed to let his wife see him struggle
- Wanted badly to speak better and read again
- Often said “my brain, it’s slow”
- Empty speech “yes, it’s coming” or “this is true”
Assessment: Mitchell had Conduction aphasia, meaning that his speech was fluent, but that he couldn’t repeat consistently. He also had difficulty coming up with words when he was talking (anomia). He was an avid reader before his stroke, but he didn’t know how to use technology. He was lonely at his home alone all day. He was slow to process questions and other auditory or written information. He had difficulty copying sentences and writing.
Treatment: He initially chose a 4-week program, unsure if he would like the therapy. He quickly changed it to a 6-week program. His therapy centered around activities he enjoyed and personal information.
Results: Through role-playing and other real-life functional activities, Mitchell gained confidence in his speech and was less embarrassed to speak to others (he originally didn’t even want to try with the other clients with aphasia!). He really enjoyed meeting the other clients and bonding with them.
Per pre and post-treatment testing, his writing increased by 63%— he could write in sentences with some issues with using the correct word, but it was intelligible and legible.
Reading comprehension increased by 10% per testing, but he could read short news articles and discuss them with more detail. His Aphasia Quotient increased 10.5 points, and sentence completion increased by 90%. He also started clarifying when he didn’t understand “what are you asking me?”, which is an important skill to learn.