Speech Therapy

Hi my son acquired his brain injury on the 01/01/2014. As the injury effected the left side of the brain it has left him with right side difficulties. He is able to walk (with a limp) and also has regained some movement in his right arm (not so much with his hand), but his main problem is his speech. He has a few words but apart from that not much speech, he only receives speech therapy once ever fortnight. He lives on his own and has nobody to practice is speech with. I know that it may not come back fully but I do believe there is more to come speech wise. Does anyone have any hints or tips that can help with his speech.

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  • Does he like music and singing? Singing along to some of his favourites might help him find the words better and help with his memory and lift his spirits. I went to a headway group, and most people have a degree of not finding the right word or being embarrassed in public if we suddenly forget what we are saying. At a group you can talk freely in a relaxed situation and not worry about using the wrong word.

  • Would his speech therapist be willing to record anything useful to an iPod or DVD so at least he knows which bits to work on. Maybe provide worksheets too?

    Is your son able to record himself in anyway and listen to it afterwards?

    Difficult one with speech as it is so much easier with another person.

    Can he ask his GP for more support?

    I hope that things improve soon x

  • Bonnie,

    I empathise so much with you.

    My intelligent, articulate wife is in a similar position. They call it dysphasia. I call it HELL.

    I also believe things can get better. Fight for more therapy. Once a fortnight is unacceptable.

    They say we use only 10% of or brains and that the brain can adapt (I heard that repeated only today by a neurologist).

    Fight for your son. Dysphasia is cruel. Good luck and best wishes.

    M

  • I had vital stim therapy for a short time, on my mouth. They place electrodes over impaired muscles. You get an a small jolt of electric , to trick your muscle to contract, and you do therapy during. Your brain senses that your muscles are firing, and pick up the slack. One time after I returned home, my mouth felt extremely relaxed, and my speech was near perfect. Unfortunately, when I returned to therapy, I had no proof of this, and was cut from the therapy soon after. It does work, and if your son would be willing to put up wt the electric tingling, I would suggest it. The vital stim therapy can be a little bit uncomfortable though, especially when the therapist begins to increase the voltage, but it does work.

  • I think that what your son has is the same condition I do. I have Dysarthia or just basic problems articulating speech. If one side of his body is more impaired, then it probably also affects his tongue, lips. Also if he ever had a tracheotomy then his voice box may have problems forming vowels, from an esophageal problem. Speech just like other problems seem to change for me day to day for me. Does it also occur like that wt your son, the same way? Like I said previously look unto vital stim.

  • Hi,

    Thank you for your questions.

    Headway's booklet 'Communication problems after brain injury' might be useful to you, as it explains more about the issue and includes some practical strategies to help. There is also some information on our website, headway.org.uk/communicatio...

    I wonder if it might be helpful for him to seek help from a local Headway group too? Depending on the services offered, there might be an opportunity to practice his speech with others. You can find details of local Headway groups and branches at headway.org.uk/in-your-area...

    If you would like a copy of our booklet, or would like to talk things through, please contact our helpline on 0808 800 2244 or helpline@headway.org.uk.

    Best wishes,

    Headway

  • My BI Mar 2013 BI affected opposite side which I only found out this year from a new doctor.

    4th and little fingers are numb, also can't walk properly now as drag left foot, but I think that has happened since the car accident last November

    April last year, Doctor sent me to a French speech therapist who told me I speak slowly and asked me translate some words to english to help her! She then gave me excercises, something like saying all the vowels out loud, but when saying them I was to stretch my mouth as tall / wide as I could! . A E I O U. I also had to run the tip of my tong around my lips with my mouth streched open again. Also to stretch tongue out towards chin as far as I could.

    Apparently the tongue is a muscle and stretches down the throat / oesaphagus to stomach - I have to admit it did make me gag. I suppose it must have helped initially because it eventually stopped me saying the consonants the wrong way round i.e. madder - dammer.....drop/prod and my speech did speed up a little.

    Perhaps something like that would help your son - its something I preferred to do in private anyway, but it might help his conversation or talking improve.

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