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Monday, December 26, 2011

Writing vs. Drawing

I suppose this might prove the "left brain, right brain" theory, but I find it so strange that Bob can draw with his left hand in fine, neat, confident strokes, never making an error (he never erases anything at all) and yet when he tries to write it looks like this....

The first line is my writing: "What is your name?" Then Bob's attempt follows. I know that finding the right word is the aphasia talking (or writing, as it were in this case) but such a mess...

Compare to the drawing in the previous post.

It's almost as if when he's drawing the right hemisphere of his brain is controlling the pen/pencil and when he's writing his damaged left hemisphere is back in charge. That's my only explanation, but I have never heard of such a thing. You'd think motor control of his left hand would be in one place in his brain.

All I can say, this is weird.... And I haven't a clue what to do about it. (I tried googling for information on this and you know what came up? A blog called The Pink House on the Corner! ha!) And I am thoroughly amazed that he can draw so well when his handwriting is still quite pathetic and shaky.

The good news here is that Bob could actually read the question and struggled very hard to answer it. He couldn't have done that a few months back.

7 comments:

Linda said...

I had trouble talking everyday English at first and I came out with mainly scientific terms for nouns. I could say those big words fluidly too instead of stuttering and repeating words over and over. ~~~ Who knew before then that the latin was still stuck down deep in my brain? (I worked as a microbiologist/science nerd)

The occupational therapist believed the language I learned when older was in a slightly different location that still had an intact connection. She had me work on pairing the science word I was confident in with the normal use word.

ie "bend your leg at your patella-- knee cap-- patella".

Linda, do you want some green peas -- dicotyledons-- peas?

I wonder if you could somehow switch Bob's writing off the lined paper and work on it as "word art"? Maybe make it a greeting card style project in a weirder font? I am kind of thinking switch his view of it from 3 separate letters spelling his name --- to the word "BOB" as a single picture to copy and embellish? I don't know if it would gradually help his writing or not, but it couldn't hurt and might be a fun experiment for Bob.


The big thing is that he is making progress and is still willing to work on it.

oc1dean said...

Jill Bolte Taylor in her book Stroke of Insight talks about the right vs. left hemispheres and how they pass off tasks to each other. Maybe something like that is happening here. I'm re-reading it because my daughter gave it to me for Christmas.
Dean

Cheri said...

Diane, You might want to check out a book called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." it discusses this whole theory. i think you are right. the left brain is in charge of words, letters, counting, numbers and time. the right brain is in charge of colors, shapes, spatial relationships. it makes perfect sense that he can draw but not write as well.

Cheri said...

and i do think unlined paper will help. he's trying too hard to control the size and shapes of the letters. let him write BIG!

Jenn said...

Yes! Word art! How do we learn to draw? Making circles, triangles, etc., then forming them into the desired object. Okay big O's and a line for B. What does B look like? Lol, boobs, for one! What am I getting at? Word art. Linda's suggestion is great!!!

Oh, check this out when you can. I ran across thia today.
http://m.npr.org/story/144152193?url=/blogs/health/2011/12/26/144152193/singing-therapy-helps-stroke-patients-speak-again&sc=fb&cc=fp

I really enjoy the fine folks who post on your blog! They are a great wealth of info and caring! God bless you guys!!!

Anonymous said...

Whatever Bob"s paper I still admire his artistry. And you are a genious for helping him rediscover his passion. Love, Patricia

Rebecca said...

And maybe writing with a pencil is easier because it creates less drag than a pen. This post is exciting because stroke survivors and their loved ones deserve to be able to communicate.