What does a Cat have to do with Aphasia? Everything.

A certain client of mine will frequently say "Those darn cats" when he gets frustrated about not finding his preferred word.  Here's why......

Bayard Baylis is a professor who had a stroke in 2009, resulting in aphasia.  He is very candid about his aphasia and resulting struggles and has worked incredibly hard towards his recovery.  One of my favorites of his work struck a cord with a recent client. My client appreciated the metaphor and still uses it to explain to others what aphasia is like for them:

I have come to the realization that words are more like cats than they are like dogs. Cats are independent and dogs are dependent…...Dogs come to you when you call them. Cats come to you when they want to come to you. That is a perfect description of words to someone who is suffering with aphasia. Words come to you when they want to come. They don’t come to you necessarily when you call them.

Bayard Baylis also offers his resources for recovery:  “In terms of my aphasia, I must spend time with words. I must use them over and over again. I must find new words or forgotten words and use them correctly. Perfect practice makes perfect! ... I must use words until I am comfortable with them and they are comfortable with me.  Just like cats, they must want to come to me and stay with me.”

Intensive therapy programs help guide you through spending time with words.  Working with words, connections in your brain, and reminding them to come as you need them.  Strengthening those pathways in your brain that were damaged.  Devoting time and energy into recovery.  That is the way to recover from aphasia.  Learn more about intensive aphasia recovery programs here.  

Aphasia Corner offers an aphasia-friendly version of his writing regarding the comparison of cats and dogs to aphasia.

Speech Spark Services, LLC specializes in personalized intensive rehabilitation programs to speed your progress towards aphasia recovery.  We provide a combination of 1:1 sessions, home programs, telepractice designed to meet your needs and to conveniently fit into your life.  Learn more about your therapy program.