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Airplane Project at Osborn Health and Rehab

By Tory Lane, Bandera Therapy Resource - Arizona

The two gentlemen who completed this project have both been on speech therapy for some time. For different reasons, they agreed to “give it a try” to work together to address their separate goals and have a creative outlet and “someone to talk to.” One of the gentlemen is a person with aphasia and has difficulty with verbal expression. When they agreed to “give it a try,” they were assigned roles: one to read the directions and provide verbal guidance, and the other to follow the directions, request clarification and complete the assembly.

The project turned out significantly better than I had originally hoped! Not only was the person with aphasia able to follow directions and address receptive issues, but he was also engaged in requesting clarification, asking the SLP for assistance, and was quick to inform the SLP, “That’s wrong!” Both gentlemen reported they enjoyed themselves and requested to make another one when they were done.

As an SLP, I was very proud of these two individuals who were able to overcome their own personal barriers to work together and communicate. They are now both requesting to do therapy together at least once a week, and the person with aphasia reported he had a “new friend.” This project was their second undertaking, and they were able to talk through how to connect all of the pieces and make a nice-looking biplane; they were so pleased that it really worked! Well, it made a nice fan!

But therapy isn’t about perfection; it’s about finding outlets to promote authentic communication and engagement of the residents with their environment, each other, and facility staff. These two have definitely improved that, and now both are much more engaged in speech therapy and will track each other down to discuss their “projects,” and they are trying to get other gentlemen at the facility to join in! Group was done by Karri Kuecker, one of our amazing SLPs at Osborn Respiratory and Rehab.

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