When Vernia Moore suffered a stroke she took full stock of her functions in the recovery room. All seemed good, but when the nurse asked her a simple question, the words would just not come. Though her brain was trying to speak, Moore was literally at a loss for words.
“This is not an uncommon situation and it is not just related to stroke victims,” says Brenda Abraham, a speech language pathologist at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “It can be a result of a brain injury or other traumatic event and it can affect young and old. Too many people are left with cognitive ability intact, but without communication skills”.
Fortunately for Moore, her physician, Dr. Julie Hung, referred her to the Speech Pathology Department at MSLH for evaluation. Working with Moore, Abraham recognized that she was a good candidate for the Lingraphica, a speech-generating device that is easier to use and more understandable than many alternative communication (AAC) devices available on the market.
The Lingraphica is a speech-generating device that has been specifically designed for people with aphasia (impairment in the ability to use or comprehend words) and apraxia (difficulty executing the movement patterns necessary to produce speech even though there is no paralysis or weakness of speech muscles).
The device is the size of a laptop. It has a touch screen with graphics relating to everyday life. There are frequently used phrases and words stored in each of the graphic folders so that when the user needs to communicate. – say, for instance, to ask for a piece of toast – he or she simply touches the “kitchen” button to find or build the phrase. The device then speaks the words for the patient.
One of the most exciting things about the Lingraphica, according to Abraham, is that insurance coverage is often available for AAC devices.
For more information or to schedule a speech therapy appointment, please call 281-274-7175.