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Speech practice kits - Are they a good idea?
Hello, I am so happy to have found this forum.  My dad just had a stroke 2 & 1/2 weeks ago, he is 63, can barely talk, basically says yes to everything. His whole right side has been affected.  My family & I are lost, we are just grateful that he is here with us.  The question I have is if anyone has any experience with a speech kit called -Whole speech kit and speech tree. costs $480.  Is it a good idea or should we wait? We just have no experience with strokes and have no idea what is going on.  It is so frusterating. Please if anyone has any information to help me understand better, that would be wonderful.  Thanks
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He had a left hem stroke, probably in the Broca's region. A CAT or MRI should have been taken to identify the site of lesion. Your father needs to be evaluated by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist!
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Haven't used a speech kit, however, sure couldn/t be a bad idea.   Try NOT to give yes or no questions.   Try choice questions.   This way, it will exercise the muscles that are affected--get them stronger, and you will be able to understand the words better that he is trying to say.   Takes a tremendous amount of patience, however, the benefit outways the frustration.  singing, reciting, trivia question, etc... keep using those muscles!
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There are two very different approaches to language loss.  One approach treats the language loss directly the other treats the brain.  When new connections are created in brain, speech can return without any direct, specific speech therapy.  If you're interested in the neurological approach, look at www.brainstrokes.com
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144586 tn?1284669764
Anything is helpful, however the problem is not easily remedied. I have assisted with several stroke patients and they often want to talk, but the sentence just "sticks in the mouth". The words will be garbled and the sentences will often trail off. The patient is very frustrated at not being able to speak inteligably. I'm not sure if working with the sentence tree wouldn't frustrate them even more. It seems more applicable to someone who speaks a foreign language.  I read the literature on the speech practice kit, and have mixed feelings.  There are all sorts of different kinds of damage that can come from a "stroke" and different parts of the language areas can be affected, as well as the mental connection that moves the tongue to form words. One thing to do is to pay attention and praise whenever a stroke patient says ANYTHING. Make a fuss. This isn't done in the nursing homes. The second the patients starts a sentence the aides should drop everything, especially their cell phones, and rush over to express interest. You want to positively reinforce EVERY attempt at making a sound. I did this for a while with a small piece of banana or buttered cracker reward, but it has to be immediately after the sound, and not two minutes later. I use the dry erase board constantly with "yes" or "no" questions, but gradually extended that to questions requiring more than a "Yes' or "no" answer.
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I've given this a lot of thought. I think the best way to rehabilitate is to spend money on a good high-definition television and subscribe to cable and have the patient watch television from dawn until dusk. During times when the TV is not on I recommend soothing classical music. I think it is important to provide the patient opportunities to talk. For example, holding two sweaters up of difgferent colors and asking "Which one would you like to wear today". I do NOT recommend this be done with foor (I.e "would you like an apple or a bananna") There is no one right answer. I think visiots should be encouraged, but before they enter the room they should be briefed that the purpose of their visit is to rehabilitate, and not simply stand in the room and not communicate. Every day I write on a board the day and the weather. My little sweet-heart has again regained the abi;ity to read the cloock radio, and I encourage speect by writing on the board"What time is it?" and pointing to the clock radio. Sometimes she replies and sometimes she can't. But the times that she does are increasing.
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As a speech pathologist, the first thing that needs to be done is for a physician order for a speech and language evaluation so your dad may be properly diagnosed and treated for his speech and language disoder. The speech pathologist can then give you the best communication tips and things for you to do to help you father.  The speech kit you are speaking of is used by speech language pathologist.  You don't need the kit, just need a proper evaluation and for them to provide you with the information. There is more to speech and language therapy and to the language and speech problems than is being related here.
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at first after my mothers stroke we used a dry erase board.keeping things simple. My mom had a left h stroke also affected her whole right side and speech. The thing we did was just kept talking to her, always including her in conversations. After we brought her home our speec therapists didn't do too much. I got online and found a website speech bungalo you can download free trials to see what needs to be worked on most and you can order the program. These things really helped my mom. We sat her in front of the computer and worked with her everyday. Check it out. It shows them how to pronounce words it has simple questions that work the brain and it has helped us.
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