Finn’s Aphasia Recovery – Writing

I thought it might be helpful to show you some of Finn’s progress over the past 19 months in order to help show how his aphasia has affected him. This post will focus on his writing skills. The pictures below show some of the writing Finn attempted while still in Salford Royal hospital. Most of it makes no sense however at the time he thought he was writing everything correctly. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t understand what he wanted and got very frustrated. Just FYI – the picture of a person turned out to be our personal trainer Joel…trust Finn to be concerned about his lack of exercise while lying in a hospital bed unable to walk properly!!

Finn was discharged from hospital after two and a half weeks at his own request. The clinicians would have preferred him to stay in hospital where speech therapy could have been delivered almost daily but no force on this earth was going to stop him walking out of that hospital. Our friend Millie very generously arranged a collection for us which helped to fund some private speech therapy but communication was still a challenge when he first came home – as you can see from the conversation below which took place a couple of months after the stroke.

He never did tell me where the colchicine was. I found it the next day in the car!

This turned out to be Finn trying to describe “I spy with my little eye…” In addition to writing he was also humming a tune which made us think it was a song.

The exercise below was set for him roughly 3 months after the stroke. He was asked to name as many things from a specific category as he could within 5 minutes and then continue to see how many he could recall from memory overall. At first he really struggled to come up with more than a couple in the set time but that did eventually improve. Interestingly his ability to recall words relating to his job as a radiologist was better than recalling a more general topic such as animals or clothing.

Over time his ability to think of individual words improved but there are still numurous occasions on a daily basis where the word just will not come to him. He will sometimes try and describe it or act it out for me to guess or alternatively he might use google to try and figure out the word he has lost.

His priority at the moment is putting sentences together. Some examples of “homework” over the last six months or so have included: completing the missing word in a sentence; unjumbling sentences; creating simple sentences describing pictures; keeping a diary of what he has done that day. Here are a few examples:

So…as you can see he has come on MASSIVELY in the last eighteen months and I am pleased to say that he is still improving. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been asked “Why?” when I’ve told him a sentence is incorrect. Half the time I can’t even explain. Clearly my English Language A-Level has not been put to good use these past ten years!! All I can say is the English language is weird and not at all easy to learn…

3 thoughts on “Finn’s Aphasia Recovery – Writing

  1. Because i’m Very old a book springs to mind that would help you both enormously. It’s probably not in print any longer but “The New First Aid in English “ would be of great help

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Progress being made – well done, Finn. Chris mentions First Aid in English – the same thought came to me as I was reading your blog. Another possibility is English course books that are designed for English as a second language learners, as these are often laid out in a clear straightforward style. Keep up the good work, Finn.

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