"Re-learning to read after brain cancer caused alexia"

About: Monklands District General Hospital / Speech and language therapy

(as a carer),

In April 2013 my partner was diagnosed with glioblastoma (aggressive brain tumour), the primary symptom was alexia (increasing difficulty interpreting written/printed text). After surgery and radiotherapy her reading ability was at pre-school level – difficulty with the simplest 3-letter words. Her consultant was ‘managing her expectations’ about any potential improvement.

We started seeing Elaine in Speech Therapy at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. Sorry, but as we were always on first name terms, I’ve forgotten her second name!

Elaine worked with us until May 2015 to design and implement the most effective, personalised re-learning programme for my partner, based on her observations during consultations and on the results from homework she set us.

The results have been incredible. My partner now routinely reads, albeit a bit haltingly, business documents, newspapers, texts, etc. This has added immeasurably to her quality of life and self-esteem. A big thank you to Elaine and congratulations to Speech Therapy for quietly delivering an excellent service!

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Response from Pauline Downie, Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Pauline Downie

Dear Vinny-D

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your and your partner's story. I have spoken to Elaine (Holden) and she told me that she thoroughly enjoyed working with both of you and that you had all worked together to achieve what your partner wanted. I am glad to hear of the difference it has made to your partner's life.

Kind Regards


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