The 100 Stones: A Story. Speech Therapy for Aphasia

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The 100 Stones: A Story. Speech Therapy for Aphasia

The 100 Stones
A Story
Speech Therapy for Aphasia

As many of you know, I have the distinct honor and privilege of working with some wonderful individuals with aphasia and their family members in London.  One of the biggest challenges for me has been how to provide speech and language stimulation in a language that is foreign and not my own.

The stimulation of language has many “secrets.”  One must be competent and conversant in the language of the person you are helping if you are to be truly successful helping people speak with improvement and clarity.  If not, dedicated assistants or family members can be mentored.

Therefore I have two students who have read The Teaching of Talking from cover to cover and can just about quote it verbatim.  This has been a rare occurrence.

The two gentlemen have been schooled in very religious education, quite unlike secular education, and also their native tongue is Yiddish, which is unlike the rest of the population in the UK, and the world.

We have been doing intensive speech and language stimulation for many hours each day, and the students and family members have become my eyes, ears, and tongue as we go about improving speech and language.  Both men are very learned in ancient religious traditions and education.

They are learning and practicing The Teaching of Talking Method, and are getting good results with the people we have been seeing.  They are learning to do the Teaching of Talking Method as I would do it.  They take direction and then utilize it.

It is happening this way with caregivers also.  In a very short time they have been instructed in The Teaching of Talking Method and are now utilizing it at home.

After just a few hours of instruction yesterday a son had a stimulated conversation with his father in their language.  As I watched them talking with one another they were smiling and laughing.  I was kvelling.  (feeling happy with a glad heart)

It is the way we do therapy with those who need speech and language stimulation, wherever one is.  It makes no difference if one speaks another language in a community in London where the culture is separate and distinct or Anytown, USA.

One of the individuals we are working with is speaking more and wishing to share ideas and stories.  My assistants and I are using the Teaching of Talking “secrets” to get more and more speaking each day; more words, longer phrases and even more sentences.

We were told a story in therapy during the last few sessions about being thankful to G-d each day, and to acknowledge Him at least 100 times a day.  I asked how anyone could keep track of those acknowledgements.

We were then told that in years and generations past, the person who wished to grow closer spiritually would obtain 100 small rocks and place them in either the right or left pocket.  Each time a person took the time to thank G-d with a blessing, a small stone was transferred from one pocket to the other.  When we asked the learned man what should become of the person who says 100 blessing per day we were told that they and their children should have good health and long, happy life.

So what is the message to those of you who have endured this diatribe?

The answer came to me perfectly as I returned home well after midnight this morning from doing speech and language stimulation and training here in the UK.

What if you as a caregiver, or therapist strived to stimulate at least 100 verbal responses with speech each and every day as you go through the day, every day with the Teaching of Talking Method? (and to have at least 90 clear utterances).  What would become of the person who has difficulty speaking?

The answer?  It’s simple.

You would chances are, have more and better speaking.  (It’s really not so hard….)

What does it take?  A committed outcome, focus, and mind.  The thought is that no matter what, you will get better speaking!

You will dedicate yourself to helping the one you love or are working with speak again, as long as they are stimulable or able to imitate simple sounds or words.

Will it be challenging?  Yes.  Will it take strength and stamina?  Yes.  Will it possibly cause rejection and upset?  Probably yes.  Will you feel like quitting at first since this may seem difficult? Yes.

Will you feel as though you want better speaking for the person; or that you want it even more than the person with whom you are working?  Maybe yes and maybe no.  There are those who are strongly determined for more and better speaking!

Try it.  Stimulate at least 100 replies each day with speech from your client or loved one.  You will get better speaking results in your life and theirs.

How will you keep track of the 100 replies you may ask?

Fill one of your pockets with 100 stones and transfer one each and every time you stimulate a word, phrase or sentence!  It becomes rather easy with practice.

Soon you may have to fill your pocket with 500 stones.  (Oy Vey!)

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