So I have this idea and I need your help.
It’s just a theory but it is an experiment that I am willing to try. I already discussed this with Juliana (as I might as well do now that I know she reads my blog) and although she isn’t thrilled with the idea she has agreed to go along with it. The thing is, it’s just an idea but one that I cannot execute alone. This is where… someone ‘out there’ comes in.
You see, I still maintain that Juliana’s biggest obstacle is her speech. It really limits the company she keeps and makes conversation a strenuous exercise for all involved. Her statements are relatively complex and amusing too so navigating what she is saying is a real challenge but very rewarding. I want more people to enjoy chatting with Juliana as much as I want her to enjoy chatting with them. You already know how badly I want her to improve her speech, I have moaned about it endlessly. But here is the thing: I believe she can talk better than she does if only she gets the right kind of practice under her belt. When reminded/asked/begged to do so, she can speak clearer and louder than she normally does. This tells me the problem is not completely a lack of capability but lack of practice and more precisely, habit. She has had lots of speech therapy and it has ranged from interesting to useless but even the best of sessions ends too quickly before the pattern has fully entrenched itself in her brain. Sure we practice her lessons at home, (there is really no way NOT to) but still, the short bursts of speech therapy, which has changed therapists and methods dozens of times has never really taken root. Enter my idea…
I want Juliana to go to a “Speech Boot Camp.”
If such a beast exists, I am unaware of it. We certainly haven’t heard of something like this up until now and perhaps that is because it is a bad idea certain to fail. But I choose to assume that the attempt is worth a try. It won’t require medicine or surgeries and the greatest harm is the potential for her intense aggravation. It’s time to pull out the Phil-ism and remind Juli that “it’s nice to be liked but it’s not necessary.” I have been accused of being too aggressive in my approach of her care but having walked this road for nearly three years now I would challenge anyone’s definition of too fast. If a burst of hard work has a chance of being successful, I would gladly take the lumps that Juliana’s slow motion will surely try to deliver.
I want her to spend dedicated, quality, and intense time focusing on the skills that are literally at the tip of her tongue. If what she needs is practice, exercise, and repetition to re-form those pathways in her brain, what better ways than to have her concern herself with nothing else for a period of time? I have no idea if it will work. It feels like it would. I see her speak better when pushed so I know she can it just has never really stuck. I really have no suggestion from any professional or even an amateur corroborating my theory. But I know that Juliana has the ability locked inside of her to articulate and enunciate and she just needs to practice it along with improving her breath control. Before the accident, Juliana was a chatterbox with a lovely and powerful voice used for speaking and singing. She must have those skills still dormant somewhere, right?
Ok, well let’s pretend we all agree this idea is worth a try. I can tell you this much, it cannot be anyone that already talks to her daily to be the one to execute. We are too close to her and she already has animosity towards us for all that we make her do, besides, we already understand her (usually). This brings me right back to the great numbers of you out there hoping there is at least one…I am looking for a person, perhaps a team of people that are willing to pull this idea into reality. I know that recovery from a brain injury takes a long and deliberate amount of time but I have also witnessed incredible leaps in improvement that were started ‘randomly’ and resulted in noticeable improvement. I am looking to tamper with that randomness and coordinate a program of intense message delivery.
Specific request time: I am looking for a few qualified individuals to contact me directly through the contact page of this website to make this process happen. I would like a 2-3 week program consisting of at least 4 hours a day full of activities centered on specifically articulation, enunciation and breath control. I believe in miracles but I also believe that God helps those who help themselves and in this case, I am really tired of waiting. Besides, what is the harm in trying? Assuming I get the right people to come forward, we will talk about terms. I intend to record this process to evaluate the before, during, and after and who knows…this might be a huge success that others can truly benefit from.
‘Cutting edge’ or ‘done before and failed’…let’s just see which side of the line we fall on, shall we?
Who’s with me?