Success Story: Rosanne Knapp Takes on Aphasia with a TouchTalk

Sep 22, 2017 | by Angie Maher


Two years ago, Rosanne Knapp had a stroke at age 64. With the help of a device from Lingraphica, a loving husband, and a determined speech-language pathologist, she's learning to communicate again. Here is her story.

In May of 2015, Rosanne Knapp of Kingman, AZ, suffered a severe stroke. The former technology recruiter, Alzheimer’s facility worker, and author of the book Southern Wind was 64 years of age and retired at the time of her stroke. Following the attack on her brain, Roseanne spent several weeks at Kingman Regional Medical Center where she met speech-language pathologist (SLP), Melanie Bradle, and then a full year in rehabilitation extended care at Desert Highlands Rehabilitation Center.

“When I first met Rosanne, she had no language at all,” said Melanie. “She couldn’t point, and she was in a lot of pain. She had hemiparesis and was dysphagic. Roseanne was in a tough place. But I could tell she was very bright…she had a light that shined through, and I knew she could understand more than she could say.”

After the year in extended care, Rosanne returned to her home with her husband of 46 years, Ray. Believing that more could be done to help his wife, Ray, a retired aerospace engineer who designed a special ramp for his van to transport Rosanne to physical and speech therapy, reached out to Melanie, asking for her help.

Melanie recommended a Lingraphica device for Rosanne based on her experiences with a few other clients on her caseload. Rosanne has only owned her Lingraphica TouchTalk™ for about three months (at the time this story was published), but the Knapps and Melanie are already wildly encouraged by what they’ve experienced.

“The TouchTalk is so intuitive,” said Ray. “Rosanne has severe aphasia, and she’s just so excited to use it. She uses it to practice her speech mouth movements, and it’s helped her pronounce words and letters. She’s always anxious to show Melanie what she’s learned at each new visit. It’s just been wonderful—I just can’t believe it.”

Melanie echoes Ray’s sentiments: “Rosanne is already finding things on the device, and Ray helps her to load their own photos.  She just gets it. The Blog_Rosanne_Knapp_2.jpgTouchTalk is fantastic. I just love it, especially for aphasic and apraxic patients. And the Knapps are a great example of what can happen with a device like this. They just don’t give up, and they are so thrilled with Lingraphica.”

When it comes to technical support and customer service at Lingraphica, Ray couldn’t be happier. “I’ve called Lingraphica a few times to ask questions about the TouchTalk, and the tech support team has been fabulous to deal with,” said Ray. “I love the attitude of everyone I’ve spoken to at Lingraphica.”

As a speech-language pathologist, Melanie also had high praise for the Lingraphica device.

“Lingraphica should be very proud,” said Melanie. "They set the standard for speech-generating devices when it comes to people with aphasia and apraxia. They are not only helping patients, but also the SLPs. Lingraphica devices will open up a very closed world for these patients.”

If you or someone you know has a medical need for a communication device like Rosanne, Lingraphica offers a free device trial to ensure a good fit!  Click below to try a device!

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