Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How long will this last?

I can't tell you how many times I have had loved ones ask me the question "How long will this last?" or "How long until he is back to normal?".  Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer.  "This" being aphasia, is not a virus or a bacteria that can be treated and just goes away one day.   I wish it were that easy.  Recovery is often a slow, long process and becoming "normal" again may or may not happen.  Each person is different and each recovery is different.   

Recovery is influenced by many factors including the age of the individual, motivation, family support, and the amount of therapy received (often dictated by insurance).   That is not to say, if the individual has all these things going for him that he will be back to normal in no time.  It just means the prognosis is better for recovery.  Obviously, if the individual is not motivated and doesn't want to participate in therapy, then his progress will be limited. 

Recovery may take a few weeks, months or years;  just don't give up hope.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Plateau? What Plateau?

I spoke to a man last week about purchasing my aphasia therapy DVD's for his wife.  He told me that they were trying everything they could think of to provide therapy for his wife within the first year.  He said that his wife's speech therapist had told them that they had a year to eighteen month window in which all recovery occurs.  After that time, recovery seems to plateau and no longer progress.

Plateau?  What Plateau?  Who is still talking about Plateaus?  I suggested that he pick up the great book by Jill Bolte Taylor - 'My Stroke of Insight'.  She was a medical research doctor at Harvard when she had her stroke.  In her book she says that it took her 7 + years to recover 'fully'.  And remember that recovering 'fully' is a very subjective term. 

For years, people have talked about the 'therapy plateau'.   Research within the past 15 years clearly debunks this once popular idea.

If you or a loved one are worried about 'your progress' and feel like you have hit the plateau.  Don't give up!  Find some encouragement.