Aphasia Friendly: Words are More Like Cats than Dogs

Bayard Baylis (By , to his friends) wrote a wonderful essay on word-finding problems for people with aphasia.   By’s aphasia is mild, and it is clear from his writing that he has maintained his ability to read and write.  It is also very clear that he understands what aphasia is like when it comes to struggling with words.   I HIGHLY recommend this article (republished on the Aphasia Corner Blog) for people whose aphasias are similar to By’s, for he has marvelous insights for them.  But these insights can also be useful to people who have more severe aphasia, and who probably have difficulty reading and writing.  With By’s permission, I have tried in what follows to give his main points in an “Aphasia Friendly” way,  for those can’t read very well.

 

WORDS ARE MORE LIKE CATS THAN DOGS

by BAYARD BAYLIS

BEFORE APHASIA, words were like DOGS

AFTER APHASIA, words are like CATS

What does By Baylis MEAN???

By with the dog

DOGS

Small cat hiding

CATS

  • Are dependable
  • Come when you call them
  • Have OWNERS (YOU!!)
  • Are independent
  • Come when they want to
  • Have STAFF (YOU!!)

WHAT ABOUT WORDS?

THEN NOW
Senior man on the telephone I have aphasia logo from the National Aphasia Association
  • WORDS did what you wanted
  • WORDS came when you called them
  • You were the boss
  • WORDS do what they want to
  • WORDS come when they feel like it
  • WORDS boss you around
Words used to be LIKE DOGS!!! Words are now LIKE CATS!!!!
Annoyed cat

 

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO??

DOG TRICKS

Getting some “DOG WORDS” back

A man practicing juggling

  • Dogs respond to training
  • Old Dogs CAN learn new tricks
  • Dogs learn what they practice
  • Some words need re-training
  • PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
  • People with aphasia learn what they practice

 

Some ways to practice words

Say words/scripts aloud

Read aloud at your level

Read silently at your level–watch it grow

Do word and thinking games (your choice)

USE the words and sentences to others!!

Tell your story!

 

 

CAT TRICKS

Making friends with your Cat-words

Girl and her pet in a tender moment

CATS respond to:

  • Caring (feeding, petting, grooming, playing)
  • Treating them as equals
  • Respecting them
WORDS respond to:

  • Feed, pet, groom, play
  • Accept words that are OK, not PERFECT. Let it go!
  • Let them COME TO YOU

Warning sign

CAT WORDS KNOW WHEN YOU TRY TOO HARD!!

THEY MAKE YOU PAY!!

 

 

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

APHASIA CHANGES WORDS FROM DOGS TO CATS

Group of cats and dogs

 

PART OF OVERCOMING IS :

RE-TRAINING THE DOGS!!

WELCOME THE CATS!!

Puppy and kitten

 

 

If you would like to print this article we recommend you download the PDF version here.

Aphasia logo image courtesy of National Aphasia Association.

 

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