Aphasia Recovery at Home

Kimberly Robbins - Speech TherapistHi, my name is Kimberly Robbins. I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist providing face-to-face aphasia therapy to stroke survivors and brain injury victims for over 14 years.

Over the years I have been so proud of the progress that each one of my patients has made. It’s been such an honor to work with each and every one of them.

But with all of the progress and all of the sessions I still try to get them to work on therapy exercises every single day. It’s the best way that anyone can recover the language skills that were lost as a result of the stroke or brain injury.

In the hospital, a speech therapy patient will meet with a licensed speech pathologist every single day. When they have recovered to the point that they are able to be brought home, you set up appointments for speech therapy to continue either through outpatient or home health services.

Most people would agree that individual therapy sessions with a speech-language pathologist is the most beneficial situation for therapy. However, once out of the hospital, speech therapy sessions usually only take place two to three times a week.

That kind of schedule might work well for insurance coverage and coordinating visits to the speech pathologist, but it isn’t that great for a person suffering from aphasia.

On-and-off practice is definitely not the best way to regain language. If someone suffering from Aphasia is really going to make progress with their language skills, they need constant, consistent practice.

It seems logical that the best solution would be to schedule a therapy session each day.

This became so obvious to me way back in 2003, that it practically consumed my thoughts.

I was working in an outpatient setting with a 45-year old man with moderate to severe expressive aphasia. He could understand everything I was saying, but was unable to respond with the appropriate words. This man had worked for years as a Sales Associate at a very high end men’s retail store.

From what I had been told, all the elite businessmen of the city knew him by name and most of them were his regular customers. He wasn’t just a salesman; he was a great salesman. He was a talker and knew what to say and how to say it in order to sell a suit worth several thousand dollars. That was before his stroke.

Now, he was struggling to get a single word out.

Like most outpatient clients, I saw him 3 times a week for 1-hour sessions. His sessions always started off slow. We’d work on saying names of objects and other single word tasks with little success and a lot of frustration. However, by the end of our 60 minute session, he would be doing much better, producing more words and becoming more encouraged.

That was Monday, and now it was Wednesday. This session would start off the same way, slow and frustrating. But again, as the session went on, his words began to come out easier. He would then leave and return two to three days later with the same pattern. This happened session after session.

I thought he should have something to do at home to help him carry over his progress from session to session. He needed some kind of homework that he could do during his off days.

Unfortunately the homework and exercises that I knew he needed did not exist. That is how the concept of our Aphasia Videos began.

It is for this very reason that I created our very first Aphasia Therapy Video titled “Everyday Objects”. It seemed logical to me that I could create a solution that would include the same exercises that we work on in the office. By placing these exercises on video, our patients could practice on a daily basis and continue to keep their cycle of progression moving forward.

Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of people suffering from Aphasia and Head Injuries with their Speech Recovery. We now have 6 DVD Video Titles separated into two levels.

Everyday Objects - Aphasia Therapy Video

“Everyday Objects” (Level 1)

The Everyday Objects Video is the one that started our whole series. With this video a person with Aphasia will focus on objects that we use in our everyday life.

Pictures of common objects are presented and verbal cues are given to help in saying the name of each object.

The Level 1 videos are specifically for people with severe expressive aphasia- meaning the individual has difficulty expressing single words. They are a great source of practical exercises for someone with any level of Aphasia.

1-word-finders

“Word Finders: Back to Basics” (Level 1)

The Word Finders Video uses basic words that were compiled into opposites and sentence completion exercises.

These exercises elicit one-word responses from the viewer. The initial sound of the targeted word is given to help the viewer say the word.

The words in this DVD were carefully chosen to provide for essential building blocks on regaining speech control for someone suffering from Aphasia.

Word Finders II - Aphasia Therapy DVD

“Word Finders II” (Level 1)

Much like our original Word Finders DVD, this part 2 DVD uses common words and gives verbal cues to help the viewer say the targeted words.

This DVD is comprised of open-ended questions of specific categories including Holidays, Colors, Rooms in a House, Seasons and Common Objects.

Phrase Builders - Aphasia Therapy DVD

“Phrase Builders” (Level 2)

Our Level 2 Videos are created for people who are ready to start working on basic phrases and short sentences.

The Phrase Builders DVD is a starting point for making that transition from single words to phrases as it allows the viewer to retain given information and answer open-ended questions.

Everyday Activities - Aphasia Therapy Video

“Everyday Activities” (Level 2)

This DVD allows the viewer to put words together into short phrases by describing action pictures of common activities.

Objects and Actions - Aphasia Therapy DVD

“Objects and Actions” (Level 2)

This DVD covers common objects and their actions. They objects and actions are presented. Then verbal cues are given to help the viewer produce short phrase responses.

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