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User profile for carole pomilio
Name: cpomilio
Alias: carole pomilio
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Re: Help for 16 yr old
Posted at: 2021-08-17 14:59:02
Dear Rhonda,
I am so sorry for all of your frustration and pain. It must be very difficult to deal with this each and every day of your life not to mention how difficult it must be on your daughter. I realize that you have a very delicate balancing act to perform so as not to upset your daughter too much but to push her enough to improve. I have no magic answers for you but I do have a couple of suggestions. Your daughter has probably been in therapy for a long time and she has probably had enough of it. Sometimes it is important to pursue the route of continued therapy, but other times, especially when the patient has had enough, it is probably time to stop for awhile and to take a different course. I would try and get her into a support group that has young people in attendance and that focuses on young people’s issues. This would give her a peer group to support her and an avenue where she can practice her communication without judgment from you or from her classmates. On the National Aphasia Assoc. website, there is a section called the young people’s network. Here there are support groups listed by state. Also in this section of the website there is information from parents about their experiences and their children’s experiences with stroke. These stories might be beneficial for you to read. Additionally, there are parents to contact with contact numbers. I have personally met Carol Dow Richards and her son David when they attended a program at the University of Michigan. You may want to contact her for additional information. Also, the school system and the speech pathologist at school should be a resource for you. Remember the school system needs to provide a free and appropriate education for all children no matter what their difficulties are. Also there are schools in different states that provide education for children with communication disorders that you could look into. Another suggestion is to talk to your pediatrician for a full evaluation of your daughter’s emotional status. Maybe he could suggest some outside counseling. And finally, don’t give up; recovery is a very long and slow road. And remember to try and enjoy your time with your daughter, laugh if you can and enjoy whatever successful moments she gives you. Good Luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Carole Pomilio MS., CCC/SLP
Re: Aphasia therapy
Posted at: 2021-08-10 12:05:20
Hi Susan,
First I just want to tell you how wonderful I think you are for helping out your neighbor. So many times when we discharge patients from therapy we wish that there could be someone to continue to facilitate the communication needs of our patients. So thank you for fulfilling this need. To answer some of your questions, I think using the WALC 1 workbook was a great idea and it sounds as if you have made some nice progress using this resource. I am not sure the books 2 and 3 are going to be as helpful because they target different aspects of rehabilitation that may not be necessary for your neighbor. It is difficult for me to tell you exactly what types of activities that you should use because I don’t know at what level your neighbor is functioning or what types of cues and strategies are most effective. However you might want to begin using more everyday type language activities. Use the local newspaper or a favorite magazine that she might like. You can use restaurant menus, retail store brochures or TV shows. For example, you could read a short paragraph out of the newspaper ask some questions and then discuss the story using a WH question activity. Who was the story about, what happened in the story, when did the story take place. You could also have her draw some pictures of what happened in the story if she is unable to verbally give you the information. This aphasia hope website also has numerous resources for you to access. There are resources for computer programs that could give your neighbor some independent practice at home. Look under the resources tab from the home page and then look up computer. All of these computer resources are beneficial for increased communication. You also asked about assistive technology. There are many alternative communication systems available and many are very expensive so my best advice for you is to contact the assistive technology center in AZ which is the Northern Arizona Technology Access program, phone #: 602-728-9534. They can perform an evaluation which is necessary before you consider purchasing any type of augmentative communication system. And finally, the stroke support group which I gave you information about is also a very valuable resource. I hope this was helpful. If you have more questions please let me know. I am available in the phoenix area if you need further assistance. Good Luck! Carole Pomilio MS., CCC/SLP

Re: Stroke related Aphasia Support Groups
Posted at: 2021-08-10 11:08:52
Hi Susan,
Stroke support groups are a vital aspect to the rehabilation of an individual with aphasia. This type of a group could be a valuable resource to gain information about rehabilitaiton as well as a forum for your neighbor to practice her conversational communicaiton skills with her peers.
I do not live near Payson but the best place to get information about local support groups is from your local hopital Payson Regional Medical Center. The number for the speech therapy department is: 928-472-5230. They should be able to give you information about the closest aphasia support group. Good Luck and if you need additional information let me know. Carole Pomilio MS., CCC/SLP
Re: aphasia from stroke
Posted at: 2021-08-07 17:02:32
Dear Tammy,
I am sorry to hear about your sister’s stroke. I am sure it has been difficult for your family especially since your sister is so young. Although this is a bit unusual, approximately 30% of stroke victims are under the age of 50. And her age could possibly be a benefit whereby her progress could be faster and improvements in her ability much greater. I do have a couple of suggestions for you. Attempt to keep your sister in therapy as long as possible. There are many avenues to access treatment. There are hospital, outpatient and private treatment centers as well as university based treatment centers. Some research states that the quicker the stroke victim gets into therapy and the more intense the treatment is the better the prognosis will be. The best place for you to access specific aspects to further your sister’s communication is through your current therapist. She will know the level at which your sister is functioning and what strategies work best for her. Ask the therapist to give you specific activities to work on at home. Also there are organizations that you should look into for information, support and additional ideas such as: the American Stroke Association, the National Aphasia Association and the American Heart Association. This website also contains many valuable resources that could assist you. From these websites you might be able to access a stroke support group which is a very valuable resource for stroke survivors. A stroke support group will allow your sister to practice her current abilities, learn new skills and receive support from her new group of peers. You might want to look for a group that has young stroke survivors so they will have similar issues to discuss. There are also computer programs that you can purchase for additional practice at home. And the most important piece of advice I can give you is to stay positive, congratulate all successful attempts and laugh when possible because it is good for you and will be very important for your sister. Good Luck and let me know if you need any other assistance.
Carole Pomilio, MS., CCC-SLP
Re: cognition and affect
Posted at: 2021-08-14 14:20:17
Dear Helene,
I am sorry for your frustration. You might try talking to your spouse about your situation and maybe the two of you could work on this problem together. Also, you might want to talk to your family physician about his situation, he may be more knowledge on this topic than I. One more option is to contact a marriage counselor for advice on this type of situation. I am sorry I can’t be of more help to you this area is out of my realm of expertise. Good Luck!
Carole Pomilio
Re: global aphasia
Posted at: 2021-08-03 17:05:07
Dear Todd,
I am sorry for your frustration. I do understand how difficult it is to have someone in your family who is unable to communicate. However it does seem that you have made it possible for your father to live somewhat independently and that is wonderful. The answer to your question is not a simple one. However I will give you some ideas. First of all, I worked with people who had aphasia and they continued to progress many years after their stroke. Although the progress does tend to slow down over time, gains are still possible. An important piece of information to think about is this: if you don’t use it you will lose it. To answer your question, research continues everyday into new advances in the area of stroke rehabilitation. There are advances in pharmacological treatments, massed practice techniques (constraint induced therapy), use of the computer for intervention as well as compensation and alternative strategies such as writing, drawing or using a picture/symbol system of communication. The first idea that you should try is to check into a local stroke/aphasia support group. It is unbelievable how a true group of peers can stimulate communication. Next, ask your physician to recommend a new evaluation with a speech pathologist to see if any of the new advances would benefit your father’s communication. A speech pathologist might also be able to recommend computer systems or compensation strategies which could enhance your father’s abilities. And finally, although I know you have tried assisting your father before maybe you should try again. Some times, people with aphasia are not ready to make gains when the treatment is initially attempted. Maybe now is a better time. You could also ask a close family member (grandchild or close friend) to work with your father instead of taking this on yourself. I hope this helps. If you need any other information please write back.
Carole Pomilio
Re: aphasia &tbi
Posted at: 2021-08-27 15:02:46
Dear Mary,
I am sorry for your frustration. I have worked with those with aphasia for many years and have seen incredible frustration, to the point of tears. I am somewhat unsure as to how to answer your question. Yes, deterioration in language functions can result from a traumatic brain injury however this is usually caused by some type of damage to the brain, which would be detectable on an MRI or CAT scan. Since there was no damage detected I don’t think this is the problem. However, there is some research being done on a disease called Primary Progressive Aphasia. This will cause deterioration in language functioning and may not be detectable on the different scans that you mentioned. There is some information about Primary Progressive Aphasia on the Aphasia Hope website. Read this over and see if this appears to fit the symptoms that you are having. If so, maybe you could mention this to your physician and then have him recommend a course of speech therapy, which could assist in increasing your communication, and language abilities, therefore decreasing your frustration. I hope this is helpful. If you need more information, please write back.
Carole Pomilio
Re: Expressive Dysphasia
Posted at: 2021-08-21 16:20:30
Dear Veronica,
I know being the caregiver of someone who has aphasia can be very frustrating. Good for you that you are reaching out and looking for some support. There are several ways for this individual to attempt communication. First of all, try and find out if this person has had any type of speech therapy. If so, maybe the therapist could give you some ideas that worked best for this particular patient. If no speech therapy has been given maybe you could get this set up. Additionally, you should look on the resources section of this website. There are some different ideas you might want to try in this section. You might also want to look up a support group in your area and attend this group with the patient. It will give the individual some time to communicate with other aphasics and it could give you a network of resources. Some other suggestions are to put written words on different objects throughout the house so that the individual can point to the object and then say the word. You could put together something that is called a communication book. In this book, there could be small pictures or written words of some common objects and activities that the individual likes. The individual could point to the picture or word that they are thinking of then they may be able to say it, or they may not. The point is that even if the individual is pointing to pictures, communication is taking place. And finally, you could try and get the individual to draw pictures of what they are trying to say and sometimes this triggers a verbal response. I hope some of this helps. If you need more information, write back again. Try not to get too frustrated and plan some activities that make you both laugh. Laughter is good for all of us. Good Luck!
Carole Pomilio
Re: aphasia
Posted at: 2021-08-20 17:21:06
Dear Rabia,
I am so sorry for your loss. I know it is very difficult to have your husband’s abilities change so drastically. One day he is a successful husband and provider and then the next day he can only mutter sounds. It is very difficult for anyone to say when a person with aphasia will begin to communicate meaningful speech. And actually, sometimes words will be produced one day and then at other times it seems as if the person can’t say anything meaningful. The good news is that you still have your husband in intensive therapy. He needs to continue to see a speech pathologist as much as possible so that he will make the most amount of progress possible. I worked at a program at the University of Michigan where people with aphasia gained their ability to speak after several years. So, I think you should continue to be patient and supportive and hopefully his speech will improve over time. Also, I think you should try and join an aphasia support group. Ask your speech pathologist for a support group in your area. This will provide support and practice for your husband, but it will also give you a support network which you desperately need right now. You can ask these people questions and they can give you their stories, which I think will help you greatly. And finally, leave a message on the caregiver forum for Judi Stradinger. She knows what you are going through and will be able to give you some great information. Good Luck! If I can be of any further assistance, please write back.
Carole Pomilio
Re: Primary Progressive Aphasia
Posted at: 2021-08-18 19:32:34
Dear Tymanda,
First of all I want to give my heartfelt sympathies to you, your partner, and of course your partner’s mother, because any debilitating disease or injury affects not only the patient but the family as well. One recommendation I have for you, since you are a nursing student, is to get as much information from the patient’s physician as possible. I say that because they are the most informed on all of the specific changes taking place in the patient’s brain and body. So, if possible ask a lot of questions. Secondly, since you accessed this website, do so again, because there is some great information about Primary Progressive Aphasia on this website. One of the articles is written by Joseph Duffy who is the leading researcher in the area of PPA and language deterioration. If necessary, you could contact him, as well, with your questions. And finally, in the area of treatment, I think the best recommendation is for you to ask to have an evaluation done by a certified speech pathologist who can assess the patient’s current level of language functioning. At this time, PPA is thought to cause a deterioration of language abilities. However, treatment may slow the rate of deterioration. Also the patient may be able to learn compensation strategies, so that some form of communication could continue when and if her language begins to deteriorate. And finally, there are augmentative forms of communication, which through the course of the patient’s rehabilitation, could be attempted and assessed to see how willing the patient would be using something of this nature.
Good Luck! If I can be of any further assistance, please write again.
Carole Pomilio

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