Interactive Observation Essay

1732 words - 7 pages

As part of my curriculum for the CDIS 530: Alternative and Augmentative Communication course that requires me to observe an individual using an alternative and augmentative mode of communication, I got an opportunity to observe a friend’s mother who has been diagnosed with severe Broca’s aphasia. I chose Mrs. K. for observation, as she is non-verbal and communicates her needs by a variety of methods. The observation took place at Mrs. K’s home, on a couple of occasions- once during a family get-together and the other time in the presence of a Speech Pathologist (private practitioner) who comes every week to provide remediation services to Mrs. K at her home.
Mrs. K is a 58 year old ...view middle of the document...

K in India, initially after the stroke, and had attempted to introduce her to a communication board in addition to other oro-motor exercises. Mrs. K resisted the attempt to use communication board and only worked on some oro-motor exercises as she thought it may result in speech. The previous speech therapist focused the remediation program on introducing Mrs. K to a communication board and some functional gestures as well for example gestures for come, eat, and drink. Mrs. K’s son had to discontinue her speech therapy in India, as they had to move back to US and also due to continued resistance of Mrs. K towards both the communication board and the oro-motor exercises recommended by the speech pathologist. He feels, his mother is more open to using alternative and assistive communication system now, as she “has realized that speech may not be possible” and is now seeing a speech pathologist again. The speech pathologist comes to Mrs. K’s house every week. The speech pathologist, Ms. C, is also a bilingual and knows Hindi and English. Hindi is pretty similar to Urdu linguistically.
As per the medical reports, Mrs. K’s hearing is within normal limits. She wears bi-focal glasses for visual correction. She also uses a walking cane when walking, and needs assistance in getting up, after sitting for a long period of time.
Prior to cerebral vascular accident, Mrs. K could comprehend and express herself both Urdu and English. Currently, Mrs. K’s appears to comprehend both Urdu and English, however, the instruction in both language have to be simple and mostly one step commands such as “pass me the book” she experiences difficulty in following two or more step commands such as “Pass me the book and paper after writing your name on it.” Mrs. K is only able to vocalize “haan” which means yes in Urdu and “nai” which means no in Urdu, spontaneously with meaning. She is also able to use gestures for “come”, “eat” and drink. She points to self to indicate “I, me, mine” and points to other to indicate “you, yours” She is aware of the days of the week, the month and year, as she keeps track of the day and the month by ticking of the day on the calendar in her room. Ms. C, the current speech therapist had administered Western Aphasia Battery and the results indicate fair auditory verbal comprehension (about 85%) but severely limited speech output secondary to Broca’s aphasia and verbal apraxia. However, the speech pathologist cautioned that these test result have to accepted knowing that Western Aphasia Battery is a standardized test normed for speakers of Standard American English. Ms. C mentioned that Mrs. K’s writing ability is better than speaking ability and Mrs. K can occasionally write a desired word. She also is able to read familiar words in two to three word sequences. Mrs. K gross motor movements are accurate; however, she has tremors in the hands when performing fine motor movements such as turning pages in a book. Currently, Mrs. K’s...

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