Bilingual speech therapy for stroke survivors

A monthly bilingual support group at Miller Speech & Hearing Clinic offers hope for people working to regain the ability to speak.

(This article by Lisa Martin previously appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of “TCU Magazine.”)

Two days after Gaby Garcia’s father had open-heart surgery in 2009, he had a stroke and lost the ability to communicate.

“I bought him a whiteboard, but he couldn’t write anything beyond lines, which was scary because back then we didn’t know anything about aphasia,” said Garcia ’94, who immersed herself in learning about the disorder that damages the language-controlling part of the brain.

On a doctor’s recommendation, her father, Enrique Garcia, began speech therapy at TCU’s Miller Speech & Hearing Clinic in 2013. That led to his becoming a charter member of the clinic’s Bilingual Aphasia Support Group.

“There’s nothing like this support group anywhere else in North Texas,” said Laurel Lynch, an instructor of communication neuroscience and clinical methods at the Davies School of Communication Sciences & Disorders, which is part of the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

photo of Laurel Lynch

Laurel Lynch

Lynch, a licensed speech-language pathologist, also oversees the clinic. “We always begin with everyone introducing themselves, not necessarily because they don’t know each other, but because it’s good practice in a safe environment for those who are struggling.”

Read more in “TCU Magazine.”