Every year in the UK 110,000 people have a Stroke, a third of whom live with long term aphasia.

Aphasia (ai-fai-zia) is a condition where speaking, understanding, reading and writing are damaged and long term it has been linked to increased levels of social isolation and depression (1). This is not surprising when you think that conversation is our main form of communication. But a bit like blinking – conversation is something you take for granted until that bit of grit lands in your eye, then you realise just how much you rely on it.

Aphasia can create many roadblocks conversation, including forgetting a word, using the wrong word or misunderstanding what has been said. Everyone experiences these roadblocks on occasion in conversations, but when you have aphasia they occur far more frequently and even if you do notice a mistake, you may not be able to fix it.

Research has recently begun to show that more ‘traditional’ aphasia therapies using highly structured clinic based formal assessments and therapy tasks may not reflect a person with aphasia’s conversational language skills (2), and may not result in changes to a person’s everyday conversations (3,4). This suggests that people need explicit help to change to their real-life conversations.

This is where Firleb therapies can make a real difference. We directly assess a person with aphasia’s language skills using real-life videos of their everyday conversation captured by you at home. We use a well-established research methodology called Conversation Analysis (CA) to determine exactly where each individual’s ‘roadblocks’ are and we offer a bespoke therapy package to help our clients decide how they may wish to fix them.

Firleb therapies offers therapy on-line using FaceTime or face to face, providing multiple opportunities to practice new communication skills in the comfort of your own home, where it really matters.

Firleb therapies was founded by Firle Beckley in May 2019. Firle is a key member of UCL’s Better Conversations with Aphasia research team. A team at the forefront of devising and training SLTs world wide in how to carry out conversation based therapies.

 References

  1. Davidson, B., Worrall, L., & Hickson, L. (2003). Identifying the communication activities of older people with aphasia: Evidence from naturalistic observation. Aphasiology, 17(3), 243–264. doi:10.1080/729255457
  2. Beeke, S., Wilkinson, R., & Maxim, J. (2007). Individual variation in agrammatism: a single case study of the influence of interaction. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, 42(6), 629–47. doi:10.1080/13682820601160087
  3. Purdy, M. & Koch, A. (2006) Prediction of strategy usage by adults with aphasia. Aphasiology 20 (2/3/4), 337-348
  4. Yoshihata, H., Watamori, T., Chujo, T., & Masuyama, K. (1998). Acquisition and generalization of mode interchange skills in people with severe aphasia. Aphasiology, 12(12), 1035–1045. doi:10.1080/02687039808249468