Scrabble & dreams

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Great combination of literacy & numeracy! and yes, ‘QUOTE’ was Amanda’s word!

It’s been 6 months since Amanda’s stroke. Despite the so – called ‘plateau’ she is still making progress; progress she sometimes finds hard to see for herself. But even seeing her each day, I can see her doing things she simply could not do, even a month ago.

A while ago she mentioned she hasn’t dreamt since her stroke. She simply sleeps (very well for 8 hours a night plus an hour each afternoon), and wakes up. I haven’t researched this, but it doesn’t surprise me that brain injuries like this can have such a side effect. But last week she talked in her sleep.

Does that mean dreams have returned?

It doesn’t surprise me that a damaged brain needs all its ‘downtime’ to file and categorise the day’s events and doesn’t have the capacity to create dreams as well.

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The speech therapist suggested using Scrabble tiles to speed up word creation instead of spending half the time trying to remember how to write letters with the ‘wrong’ hand. She said I should take the letters from a word, and then jumble them on the table and let Amanda construct the word. But having the whole Scrabble set proved too tempting. Amanda was keen to give it a go, so we tried a game of full-on Scrabble.

Once I’d helped her find a word from her 7 letters plus those already on the board, I got her to verbally spell it; something she can do easily. Then I asked her to find those same letters and place them in the correct order on the board. Next I got her to add the value of each tile and take account of any double letter or word scores.

I split the game into 2 half-hour sessions during the day as I know this is all taking huge concentration. It’s facinating to watch as she gets quicker and hits a ‘sweet spot’ of performance after about 15 minutes. But then the concentration starts to wane and the simple arithmatic and word recognition gradually becomes completely alien again.

But this was just the first attempt at something I would not have considered a month ago.

We have left the game on the table to return to tomorrow.

Scrabble might just be one of the keys to further unlock those hidden memories…

 

One thought on “Scrabble & dreams

  1. Interesting to read about your game of Scrabble, Matt and Amanda. When my husband had a brain injury, we played Banagrams – shorter bursts than Scrabble, good for concentration. Keep up the good work, you two! Blue Banana Blog is compulsive reading.

    Like

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