4th Nov 2015
Art Of Communication Fix On ITV
'My dad sometimes mixes up his words and has difficulty communicating. He experiences anxiety and can feel very isolated.'
Erin Hayhow is raising awareness of aphasia – a condition that affects the way a person uses language.
The 25-year-old from Whitstable has seen the effect it’s had on her dad, and wants others to be more understanding of people with communication difficulties.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Meridian (E) on Thursday 5th November.
'Two years ago my dad had a stroke,' Erin explains.
‘We found him where he’d fallen and his face had completely dropped to one side.
'He continued to have a stroke for six hours and by then, he wasn’t able to talk at all.
'It left him with brain damage and a condition called aphasia.
‘It’s nerve-wracking when someone speaks to you and they’re not speaking correctly, but we shouldn’t be frightened.
‘Give them time to get their words out because they need that encouragement.’
Linda Kerley, Chief Executive Officer at Headway, the brain injury association, appears in the broadcast in support of Erin’s campaign.
She offers further advice on how to help someone who’s having difficulty speaking.
‘Be very patient with them and give them time,’ she says.
‘Keep the environment quiet and calm, so they don’t get anxious.’
Erin adds: ‘When you start to talk to someone with aphasia you can begin to understand them, and the more you talk to them, the more everything will make sense.
‘If you give yourself time and the chance to switch on to that individual you can understand them like any other person.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch more Fixers films, click on the image below.