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Say It Right Series

Locked in Syndrome and Communication

Posted by bababardwan April 30, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

I've been watching a 2007 French movie called "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"[le scaphandre et le papillon]:

..which is the true story of a French journalist who suffered a massive stroke that left him with locked in syndrome which basically meant he was aware of his surroundings but was paralysed except for the movement of his eyes.

Why am I posting this? Well it was interesting from a communication viewpoint.His only means of communication was the ability to blink for yes,two blinks for no.What was particularly interesting was that he was able to write his memoirs from which the movie was adapted.His therapist devised a chart that started with the most frequently used letters in French and then proceeded in decreasing frequency.So she would look at him and start reading the letters in the chart and he would blink when he got to the letter he wanted.Naturally it seemed there were times when he spelt out only part of a word and the rest was obvious and she would confirm.The subtitles were interesting at this point also.She would read the letters...there were no subtitles at this point,but when he would blink on say "m" it would be subtitled as "d" as it would give the English spelling of the word in progress [eg m-o-u-r-i-r  ...d-e-a-t-h...the discrepancy in length didn't matter as m-o-u-r was enough for his therapist to realise "mourir"].


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