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Tip 2 - Using Pictures

 

Tip: Along the same lines as labeling things, using pictures is another great way to help communication. The Speech Therapists use pictures on a chart to help stroke survivors communicate their needs, like food, bathroom, drink etc. And as they go on with with their recovery, they expand the charts to include other things, especially if they have continued speech therapy. You can create more expanded charts or ones to use at home with clipart - put them in a protective sleeve or laminate so they last longer.

Don't worry if you can't find a picture for everything you can think of. Sometimes the word will be enough, or a symbol. You can also use family pictures to help remember names. You can also use magazines and brochures - be creative. This is something you can work on sitting in the hospital, or something the kids can help out with.

Here are a few pictures to get you started - and charts with numbers and letters I will keep adding more as the website expands. If you find or develop good ones you'd like to share - please send them to me at bon42269@aol.com.

Printables

Practice Activity: As time goes by, the stroke survivor will be able to do more and more. Have them look through magazines, grocery or store mail-outs, photo albums, etc. They can help you develop a picture dictionary. You can also practice saying the words or pointing to the items.

After some time, if they can - have them look through mail outs to choose meals or check around the house to see what is needed like lightbulbs, cleaning products, paper products etc. This might be different or even difficult for some of those old fashioned men out there, if they never did any of the home management stuff before the stroke - but they can learn. It helps you, it helps them, and everyone benefits.

Bonus: a great excuse to go through pictures and start new photo albums or update the ones you have. And its a great activity to get the kids involved.

What Works for Us: We didn't use her picture chart for long. While she was in the hospital and rehab center, they attached it to her wheelchair so it went everywhere with her. But once we got her home, it wasnt as convienant. I guess it was easier for us to play the guessing game. Luckily, she was able to write what she wanted in a short time, but not all stroke sufferers recover the same. The pictures really do work.

Now, almost 2 years after her stroke, she uses pictures, magazines, and store mail-outs all the time. She is doing her Holiday shopping with catalogs right now. And every week she looks through the grocery mail-outs, picks coupons and writes the shopping list. That way, she makes sure we buy the food she likes :)

Empathy Exercise: Try telling a whole story or having a whole conversation with just pictures. This could be a fun activity with the kids even. But imagine not having the words for what you want to say - how would you say it ?

Additional Tips :

Humor: my mom likes to watch all the cooks on food network. One day I hear her saying yummmmmmm. So I ask, what are they making? She has a hard time saying it, so she tries to spell it and she says, "C" "R" "A" "P". We laughed so hard. I eventually realized they were making crab, so she was very close - but boy was it funny.


RATE THIS TIP

Please take a few minutes and send me your feedback !!!

Use the following scale to rate the objectives in this exercise

1 - not helpful or useful at all
2 - some of it was helpful or useful
3 - helpful and useful
4 - Very helpful and useful - The stroke survivor is making great progress

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Tip:

Are you a:   stroke survivor caregiver *professional

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Using Pictures to help communicate
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Empathy Exercise
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*professional in this case means one who works with stroke survivors,
like nurse, doctor, physical, speech, or occupational therapist etc.

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Copy and paste into an email and send to bon42269@aol.com, comments and suggestions welcome.

Please include any contact information you are comfortable with sharing, like name, email, or phone number.


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