I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells ~ Theodor Geisel

Nonsense_plateNonsense

Aphasia Therapists:  What’s on your plate?  Serving up a big helping of nonsense and humor in efforts to stimulate the brain is a definite first course.

Years ago, there was a set of picture-based material we obtained from Sweden, that featured a big blowsy woman, a disordered household, various undergarments, and a thoroughly entertaining resource for working on vocabulary, reading, and writing.  I also remember thumbing through magazines for absurd photos, aptly used by marketing agencies to sell various products. 

These days, I seem to live in the absurd, so it is not hard to incorporate it into the work.

Guinea_pig

Obviously, there are times when nonsense is not appropriate to time and situation, but therapy rooms that are without humor and some amount of laughter are life-draining spaces, for everyone in them. 

Nonsense

And there is no doubt in my mind that people with aphasia appreciate the laughter:  mine and their own.

One gentleman always arrives at our afternoon session with a small sandwich to keep his blood sugar on an even keel.  Because I commented how it is always the same – peanut butter and jelly- he now pantomimes a new variety as he opens the aluminum foil.  Without a word, I know when he is telling me it’s bologna, or chicken parmesan.  Of course, it is always PB & J, and he gets a kick out of my gullibility, which is, unfortunately, genuine. I’m convinced one day it will be what he mimes it is, and I’ll be caught in a bit of his nonsense.  Not a bad thing at all.

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About Shirley Morganstein

I am a life participation therapist for people with aphasia, exploring the relational and reflective process.
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