Giliana had a stroke in March 2017. As a result, her communication was affected.
At first she had great difficulty understanding what was said to her and difficultly speaking with others.
Although Giliana has made great progress, she still has difficulty at times.
Here is Giliana talking about her experience.
How did you feel after your stroke when you were trying to communicate?
I felt dreadful.
What were you having trouble with?
What kind of strategies did the staff use that helped you?
I think Melanie, my Speech Pathologist, was quite good at making the Speech Pathology exercises into a game. I thought that was quite good.
I think some of the staff know how to communicate with patients. Not all of them, but some.
The ones that do it well, what sort of things do they do that you like or that help you?
They speak slowly and clearly, and they don’t yell at you. And, with a bit of luck, they don’t push you around too much. Of course some of them are great pushers.
What’s your top tip for communicating with people who have aphasia or communication difficulties? What was the best thing someone did for you, or what would you do for someone else?
I think I would start off offering them a hug. And then, I would offer them another hug, and then I’d tell them just to take it easy. And that their capacity to speak will return quite soon, especially if they don’t put any pressure on themselves.
This week is Speech Pathology Week. Approximately 1.1 million Australians, around 5% of the Australian population, have a communication disorder. Speech Pathologists play an important role in supporting people with communication difficulties to communicate in different ways and to participate more fully in life. Speech pathologists work with families, friends and staff in helping them learn the strategies to communicate more effectively with people with communication disorders.