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Monday, January 2, 2012


by Bob
(click to enlarge)


oc1dean said...

What a wonderful drawing, you should have Bob draw his current life/brain or any subject he thinks about.

Nikki said...

I like that there's one figure that looks like a policeman, telling all the others to stop. A good metaphor!

Barb Polan said...

How remarkable! Bob is clearly very talented and an artist through and through.

an SLP said...

This is really wonderful, especially considering that he's using his left hand (was he right-handed before his stroke)? As you may well be aware, there are some treatment approaches for aphasia that focus on drawing as a compensatory strategy when speaking and writing are difficult. There is even some preliminary evidence that drawing may help facilitate word retrieval in aphasia (although at least one study indicates that this is not the case).

I also read your earlier post about flash cards, Bob's word retrieval problems, and the role that memory might play. You may very well be correct that memory is playing a big part here, but people with aphasia often use the wrong word even when they know what they mean. They can have trouble linking the 'form' of a word (the sound of a word, or how a written word looks) to the meaning associated with that word. Having a reliable yes/no can also be a problem. So, when Bob answers that he does not have any siblings, it's possible this is purely due to aphasia and not to memory problems. He could have trouble understanding the question and your correction, or he could mean to say "yes" and not realize he said "no."

It sounds as though Bob is fortunate to have such a devoted caregiver. To be there for him, you need to make sure you have adequate support for yourself, and that you can occasionally take time for yourself. Caregiving is tough work, even when it's a labor of love. It could be helpful for both of you if there are aphasia or stroke support groups in your area. Often, there's a group for stroke survivors and an affiliated group for caregivers. The stroke/aphasia groups can be great places to share tips and resources, meet inspirational people who've made great progress, and be around people who 'get it.'

Grace Carpenter said...

Diane, I came across a website by an aphasic artist:

Did Bob draw other pictures with a background (i.e the ground and sky), or is this the first one? It reminds me about my therapy sessions: every two or three weeks, they would push me to longer sentences. First 3 words, and 5 words, etc. I feel that recovering language is partly a process of filling details in.

Diane said...

Yes, Bob was right-handed pre-stroke. So this drawing is done with his left hand. He still cannot steady his left hand when writing (all shaky, etc.) though it's quite steady while drawing.

Grace, yes, this is the first time he put a background in! Also, he's doing much more shading and detail. Thanks for the website, I'll check it out.