Saw your question this morning.
My late husband used the low-tech auditory scanning method to communicate primarily through the four years following the stroke.
He was able to blink his eyes and move his right middle finger. Since he lived in nursing homes and hospitals, we used different flat switches Velcroed to an arm brace to get help when he needed something. Because of this, it was never functional to be attached to a computer 24 hours a day.
Higher tech devices we used to communicate: A Dynavox – which was programmed to scan through the alphabet in our row system. This was slower than a person running through the alphabet and was rarely utilized. Jimmy hit the switch attached to the arm brace when the Dynavox got to the letter he wanted. Insurance paid for this. It did not pay for all the switches we bought through Tash (I think is the company’s name).
We were in Georgia and worked with Dr. Philip Kennedy at Neuro Signals in Atlanta. There are You Tube videos of his work. While this computer system was great and I believe the technology can help some, it didn’t work out well for Jimmy. The brain stem stroke left him with blurred and double vision, so he couldn’t see the computer screen.
There are some programs available to use brain waves, etc.
This chart was always with Jimmy. It was printed on business cards and laminated, so staff could have it. This was his primary way of communication and everyone used it. It’s a patient right to be able to participate in one’s own care, so the staff has to use it to communicate with their patient!
We also provide da chart of abbreviations. Such as Jimmy spelled out BT for breathing treatment, SC for suction, BM for bowel movement.
Here’s the chart:
Jimmy will BLINK when he wants to spell.
Ask him if it is a vowel, row 1, row 2 row 3 or a number. He will look up yes for the correct row, look down for no.
Then recite the letters in the row. He will BLINK when you say the correct letter or number. Write down the letter. Then begin again for the next letter, vowel, row 1, row 2, row 3 or number.
Vowel: A E I O U Y
Row 1: B C D F G H J
Row 2: K L M N P Q R
Row 3: S T V W X Z
This warning also was at the bottom of the chart:
*Be careful about guessing. A lot of wrong guesses often leads to frustration for both the speller and Jimmy. *
We also emphasized the need to ask Yes or No questions. You can’t ask: "Are you comfortable and then, “Should I move your leg?” You have to ask Are you comfortable and then move forward with the yes or no answer.
I wrote about the progression of his communication on my blog: http://getyouroxygenfirst.blogspot.com … Recent posts have been rants about the health care reform debate. I apologize I can’t provide you with a specific link this morning. I’ve got to get ready for work, but wanted to share this with you. I know how crucial information is.
Best of luck and if I can be of help, let me know.