Your Brain At Its Best

Following is a handout with tips that I use with people with aphasia to make speaking, reading, and writing as easy as possible.

Speaking: Speak as slowly as possible. Speak softly, like you’re telling a secret, try not to “attack” words.

Reading: Read slowly enough that you are seeing the actual words and what you’re reading makes sense. Use an index card if needed.

Writing: Make a picture of the word in your brain before you start, and try to hold onto the picture until you’re finished.

For your brain to work its best, it is a good idea to work on attention (also known as working memory) by playing card or computer games, or watching movies. You want to practice paying attention for a period of time.

Preventing dehydration is especially important when you have had a stroke. If you become dehydrated, it may lower blood pressure.

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Reader Comments

Chanti,

Comment 1 since all I wanted to say was too long for one coment I had to split it into multiple comments
Thank you for your posts and excellent suggestions to assist in communications. I more than concur with your suggestion to make pictures of words. I find myself forced to live that way.

#1 
Written By By Baylis β2 on October 20th, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

Chanti,

Comment #2. Prior to a ruptured blood vessel in a benign brain tumor, I had spent 40 years in the academic world. My normal mode of thinking was deductively, analytically, sequentially or quantitatively. Immediately after the surgery to remove the tumor, I found myself with a mild case of aphasia. I knew what I wanted to say, I just didn't have the right word. Nine months of therapy got me to the point where in most conversations, I was the only one who knew I was having trouble finding words or understanding what someone else was saying. It was at that point that I had 4 tonic-clonic seizures, that were most likely due to the damage from the tumor and the scar tissue that remained after the removal of the tumor. Since the seizures, I have noticed a progressive change in my thinking processes. Now when facing a new question, situation or problem, I automatically go to a picture, analogy or metaphor, and I am having more difficulty in analytical, deductive reasoning. I am living in a metaphorical world.

#2 
Written By By Baylis β2 on October 20th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

Chanti

Comment #3 and the last one today–I promise!
Pictures, whether visual or word, are my connection with the world. At first, I was frustrated because the academic world in which I had lived generally didn't accept metaphors as an adequate mode of communication. Then I did some research on metaphors, Aristotle said that the proper use of metaphors was the highest form of genius. If you look many poems and most plays are one metaphor ontop of another. I am finding it is a different, but sometimes richer way to view the world than through the eyes of deductive analysis with its rigid blinders.I find more reception to the new mode of communication and thought from those outside the academy than from my former colleagues inside the academy. I am now seeking a way to communicate with my former colleagues that they find acceptable in their rigid world.

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Hi, you have a good blog. I’ll bookmark it and come back in the future. Thank you!

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