THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL FOR SPEECH RECOVERY AFTER STROKE AND APHASIA
MARK A. ITTLEMAN, M.S., CCC/SLP
SENIOR SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
AUTHOR: The Teaching of Talking
LIFE MEMBER AMERICAN SPEECH LANGUAGE AND HEARING ASSOCIATION
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t receive information about a new app, piece of technology, diagnostic big $ machine that is supposed to either do the therapy, help the therapist do the therapy, or a piece of software that is designed for the patient to improve speech if he sits down behind a computer or I Pad or does the therapy exercises out of a manual or book.
Isn’t it amazing the comparison of public school resource materials and equipment for therapy, versus home health, private practitioners, “world’s greatest rehab hospitals” and college/university clinics? These settings can have every app, test, computer program, standardized test, therapy equipment and the “latest and greatest,” while other settings have a minimum of computers, i pads, workbooks, and technology. Is one setting better than the other?
Then there are the “intensive” programs sponsored by Universities and colleagues where people with aphasia and their caregivers go for 1-4 weeks. Is this the answer for those looking for the “latest and greatest?”
So what is the best therapy machine, app, program, or “Method?” Does all the technology, intensive programs, apps, software, etc. really make a significant difference in speaking improvement?
You could go to the best medical clinic in the world for a surgical procedure, but in the end it will be the skill and method of the surgeon and his or her team on any given day and time.
So then, what make the MOST difference in one’s speech and language recovery?
The very best tool is the training and expertise of the treating therapist. The very best outcomes are directly related to the training and how the therapist delivers the therapy and whether he or she takes the time to assure that training is passed on to the caregiver, loved one, or parent of the person with the speaking difficulty.
For most people seeking speaking improvement, the therapist is the most import tool. But that can’t go on forever, and eventually the most important tool will have to be You the person with the speaking difficulty and your caregiver and loved ones who have been trained in methods that are truly helpful.1
1 Levine, Peter The Most Important Gizmo for Recovery is You Stronger after Stroke, in the Stroke Survivor Tattler, February 24, 2014. Concepts for this article were taken from original work. Recently Mr. Levine’s article reinforced many previous articles by me and I would also like to give him credit in this article for his values and beliefs concerning the best tools in any medical or therapeutic environment.
Mark Ittleman, M.S., CCC/SLP is a senior speech language pathologist who has over 40 years of direct clinical practice with people who have aphasia and a host of other speaking difficulties. He can be reached through The Teaching of Talking Website, Facebook, or e mail below.
E Mail Mark today!: email@example.com