Sandy greets me with a big smile. We begin with a list of the following words:
Out of the list, I've marked what I could say at the beginning of the one hour session with (*), and what I could say at the end of the session with (**).
Sandy says the words and I imitate her. She encourages me to use gestures with each word:
Greeting with "Hi", Waving good bye with "Bye".
After I have mastered "Hi" and "By", Sandy literally takes me by the hand and walks me over the therapy floor and encourages me to say Hi and Bye to everybody I see on the floor. The whole shabang with waving and greeting.
She divides speech therapy into two parts: First half is speech production, second half is word retrieval.
She doesn't spend any time on dysarthria ( right side of my face, and half of my tongue being paralyzed and everything) because she says that when I push to use those muscles on my face hard enough to produce sounds, paralysis will take care of its own. She compares it to two people training for Karate. One of them does a lot of push-ups and a lot of that kind of exercise, the other one just fights, but they spent equal amounts of time doing their own thing. When the one that only fought so far is challenged to do push-ups, she can do as many push ups as the other one, who exercised, plus she is much better at fighting.
So, the second half of speech therapy is spend with me trying to write things on a sheet of paper.
First of all, she wants me to write down my address and memorize it. That way, she says, I can be on my way towards independence. Then she gives me key words and wants me to use them in a sentence.
These are typical of the words she gave towards the end of the first week or second week, and the sentences I wrote with them: But beware! Facing every word my brain drew a blank. Total blank. Then after a lot of thinking I would formulate a concept like "therapy is good" than while writing it with great difficulty I would slowly add on words and concepts to it like "confidence", and of course I would have again great difficulty with prepositions and the word order. In the end after a good hard stare at the paper, I would come up with something like below. But each and every sentence I knew that I needed to push to its very limit, try to cram in as many concept as possible, and not be satisfied with just one concept, however long it may take. For example, I believe writing those 5 sentences below took me a good 30 minutes or more.
Therapy: "Therapy is very good, it gives me confidence."
Coffee: "Mehmet wakes up to the smell of coffee every morning"
Son: "My son is the most polite son in the world."(*)
Friday:"Friday is the 2nd of my son school." (meaning: Friday is the second day of my son's school. - a total nonsense by the way)
Work: "Work is somethink that I don't miss very much."
After that we would do an exercise like listing all the activities I could do to play with my son.
"playing with trucks"
"playing with the alhabet trains"
"playing with the train set"
"watching tv togeter"