A video uploaded by Tactus Therapy shows the affects of “fluent aphasia” a condition which affects about one million individuals within the US.
Fluent aphasia makes people speak with typically effortless speech but with impaired meaning and poor comprehension. So a conversation can run at a normal pace and cadence, but the words hold no bearing to the meanings.
Aphasia in general can affect auditory comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing, and functional communication.
Meet Byron Peterson, a friendly and happy looking guy. He’s a stroke survivor that now lives with fluent aphasia. In the video he’s being interviewed by Megan Sutton, SLP from Tactus Therapy Solutions.
Byron graduated from MIT and Northwestern and over his life has travelled the world 11 times.
Donna Peterson shared her story of Byron saying that shortly after his stroke they were told about his condition. “At first I was told that all improvement would come within 90 days. Many families get this kind of information – it simply isn’t true.”
“In the first six months, Byron’s speech was mostly “word salad” – a mix of nonsense words typical of Wernicke’s aphasia. If I could hear two or three real words in a sentence, I was elated. He didn’t understand most of what I said, so we communicated through gestures and drawing.”
We lost the majority of our friends. Our families tried to help, but they were so uncomfortable that it made things worse.
“We lost the majority of our friends. Our families tried to help, but they were so uncomfortable that it made things worse. We had two friends left who kindly took Byron out for lunch and a drive once a week. One speech pathologist suggested stimulating Byron with “sights and sounds,” so we started going on outings. With Byron’s love of theater, I took a chance and bought season tickets for some Broadway shows in Las Vegas. At first he tolerated the performances, and then he began to love them. Because many of the shows were revivals of ones he had previously seen, he gained confidence that he could follow along and understand.”
“Fluent aphasia is hard on both the stroke survivor and caregiver, and it feels more isolating as there are fewer people who understand what it’s like.”
Click here to read more of their story and find out more about this disorder.