When your loved one has a stroke and has difficulty speaking afterwards, you look for anything and everything to help them communicate. Most people are overlooking a simple and very powerful tool for expressive aphasia recovery: MUSIC!
The majority of people who cannot speak fluently after a stroke, can sing fluently. I have worked with many families who have figured this out, and have begun to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and other familiar songs. As a board certified music therapist with advanced training in neurologic music therapy, I can take that a step further and help use music to enhance the recovery of everyday speech.
Rehabilitative Rhythms has partnered with the Rocky Mountain Stroke Center to make aphasia music therapy classes available to stroke survivors for a very low fee. Here is what the daughter of a client recently told me about the impact the class has had on her mother’s daily communication:
“The music program at Rocky Mountain Stroke Center has helped my mom immensely. After her stroke, her speech was limited to five words or less. After a year of one on one traditional speech therapy twice a week, her speech improved only slightly. Doctors said improvement from this time forward would be sparse. Our family decided to seek alternatives and found the music class at RMSC. My mom has been attending this class for about 9 months and has made huge improvements in her speech. She is now able to express her feelings and can ask for things she wants or needs. The group setting has also helped her to feel comfortable engaging in conversations. The majority of her improvements came about after starting the music class, and her speech continues to improve. We truly believe that she has benefited greatly from the music class.”
If your loved one has aphasia but has not had music therapy treatment as part of their recovery, you are missing out on using a very powerful tool for recovery.
Have you used music to help your loved one recover from a stroke? Tell me about it below.