The ability to speak is an important part of human interaction. In this book, a glimpse into the lived realities of 37 adults and 3 children with communication disorders whose humanism is somewhat compromised by their speech, language, or voice disorders is offered in humorous and heartbreaking detail. The patient's struggle to communicate is often matched by their listeners, who are struggling to understand.
Stories are presented of patients treated in medical settings for such problems as aphasia, dementia, Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other CNS diseases, apraxia, and head trauma. Other stories look at people who were treated in university clinics for such disorders as cerebral palsy and stuttering. The last few stories look at speech/voice treatment for a transgender woman, the loss of voice in a young man in a state penitentiary, and finally a humorous story of a pilot with left hemiplegia flying the author.
Seasoned specialist Daniel Boone does not offer therapy suggestions for either the SLP or the patient's family or friends to try. Rather, for anyone with a communication disorder, he strongly recommends that such patients should seek the guidance and therapy of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist (SLP). The SLP determines what to do in therapy and practice.
The stories illustrate the struggles of those who cannot always make their listeners understand. They may only be able to repeat the same phrase over and over. They may not be able to articulate words clearly enough to be understood. They may give bizarre, confusing answers to everyday questions. Taken together, they also illustrate the difficulties listeners, those who wish to understand, have in trying to make heads or tails of the intended communication. Ultimately, this work provides a sensitive look at the various disorders people have, their attempts to overcome them, the treatments that might be available, and the actions listeners can take in making communication easier and more productive.