Aphasia - The David Dow Story

Uploaded by AphasiaSupport on 19.04.2011

Childhood is supposed to be a time of fun, learning, adventure and growing.

10 year old David Dow came to Las Vegas in 1995 on a family vacation.

We get out of school? Yes! Thank you!

They stayed at the MGM Grand.

David wanted to ride the roller coaster at New York New York, to see the bright lights and a show.

That all changed in a heartbeat when the fourth grader suffered a massive stroke.

Waking up in an adult intensive care unit was a terrifying experience

unable to speak, read or write.

Like nearly 1400 children in the U.S. every year, David had suffered a stroke.

I know how that 10 year old felt because I am David Dow.

My aphasia was my biggest problem.

The wheelchair was easier to deal with.

I went from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane and now I walk by myself.

When I first had my stroke when I was at the age of 10, I had aphasia

that was so severe that I couldn’t understand what people were saying to me, as well as communicating back to them.

Aphasia still affects me on my day-to-day basis.

I have trouble understanding what people are saying sometimes.

Aphasia does not affect intelligence.

Do you want to help communicate with someone with aphasia.

Be patient, give them time to speak.

Do not finish their sentences for them.

Be sensitive to noise, turning off distracting sounds.

Speak normally, shouting does not help.

Use additional ways to communicate.

Drawing, gestures, or facial expressions

I went to lots of speech therapy.

And my mom worked with me and she hired others to help me too.

I progressed in rehab.

Finally I was able to talk again.

Starting with just single words.

Speech and language therapists really helped me.

I have years and years of speech therapy and can speak quite well now.

I can read, and write again.

Things aren’t as easy as before, but I live independently and strive to live a normal life.

I still have some paralysis on my right side, with my hand, ankle and toes.

I can drive and I walk without a cane.

My name is David Dow and I will never give up.