Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Importance of Aphasia Group Treatment for Rebuilding Community and Health

Recent interest in aphasia group treatment has been motivated by the potential benefits of working in a group environment. This article provides research evidence for the speech-language and psychosocial benefits of conversationally based aphasia groups. The history of aphasia groups and independent aphasia centers consistent with a social model of healthcare and the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia is traced. Research evidence is reviewed that demonstrates positive health benefits of building interpersonal relationships and community. It is argued that an important role for the speech-language pathologist is to help reconnect persons with aphasia to their family members, their friends, and their community.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Notes from a Caregiver

Don't Forget the Baby!

One of the things I feared most happened last night. I asked my husband to go out to the office (we run a home-based business, the office is practically in our garage) to check on something. On the way out, he nearly stepped on our toddler, Rowan. I mean, he had to step...Next....

my story 1 by Banu Turhan

my story 5 -aphasia assement at the hospital

Then she takes the pad and writes the name of my husband. She asks me to copy it down. To my surprise, I can do it. She writes down "Kaan" I can also copy it down. But when she gives me a blank page I cannot write anything down but my name over an over again.

She wants me to imitate her in saying certain vowels like: "OOOO, UUUU, EEEEE". Let alone imitating them, I cannot even fathom what she wants me to do. It is almost like she has came from another planet and she wants me to use telekinesis to bend a spoon or something. How shall I know how to do it? Which command shall my brain issue to bend the spoon? I have no idea! Next......

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stroke/Apahsia Group

Stroke/Aphasia: Stroke of Hope Support Group, 9:30 a.m. second Tuesday, fellowship hall, Sebastian United Methodist Church, 1029 Main St., Sebastian; (772) 388-0582, (772) 713-3571, (772) 335-5320.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

St. John’s Speech-Language Pathology Professor Launches Volunteer Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center

As the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign heats up, several candidates are looking at the issue of health care, arguing that many Americans’ inadequate insurance coverage prevents them from seeking proper treatment. In the case of aphasia — an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as the result of a stroke or other brain injury — many of those afflicted are unable to access the clinical care and support they need.

This lack of access has motivated José Centeno, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP), to take matters into his own hands: last year, he joined a small handful of other concerned SLPs and began offering pro bono clinical services for stroke survivors and their families at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, in Manhattan. Beginning September 17, Centeno, a leading expert in the effects of aphasia on bilingual individuals, and his colleagues will launch what is perhaps the country’s first volunteer program dedicated to Spanish-English bilingual aphasia patients. NEXT...............

Chance to help people affected by a stroke

The event is intended for people interested in volunteering for their communication support service in East Yorkshire.

Volunteers are especially needed to provide home visits to people who have aphasia, a condition often caused by stroke which affects a person's ability to speak, understand, read and/or write.

Training is provided to enable volunteers to work with stroke survivors on all aspects of communication, with the aim of building up confidence and independence, and achieving the best possible recovery from stroke.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Local Therapy Group Aims to Help Those With Aphasia

Most people know what it's like to try to grasp for the right word but draw a blank.

For people with brain injury from stroke or other causes, it can happen all the time with almost every word. It's a communication disorder called Aphasia.

Special group therapy may help people with Aphasia to relearn ways to communicate, either through words, writing or gestures.

Among the members of a therapy group at WakeMed is a former N.C. State public speaking professor, a former truck driver and a beloved mother, Elizabeth Cox.

She described her story in halting speech, "I had a stroke, and thanks be to God, I survived."

Cox's stroke lead to Aphasia.

"If you have Aphasia, it's like having a file cabinet that has all of your information and your knowledge stored and it gets tipped upside down," said Maura Silverman, an Aphasia therapy specialist.

With Aphasia, the words are scrambled, but the intellect is intact, according to Silverman. That's what Cox's daughter, Julie Stickler, said she knew all along.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

WakeMed and Triangle Aphasia Project Join Forces

RALEIGH, N.C. - WakeMed Health & Hospitals and the Triangle Aphasia Project (TAP) have joined forces to provide lifelong therapeutic support to patients through the Triangle Aphasia Project at WakeMed Rehab.

An estimated one million people in the United States have acquired aphasia - a communication disorder usually the result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor or progressive neurological condition. This frustrating disorder may reduce a person's ability to understand written or spoken information and always affects their ability to find the words they want to say. Reading, writing, listening and speaking are so vital to our connections in the community and impairments like aphasia can be devastating to a person's self-confidence and willingness to participate in activities they enjoy.

For many years, the Triangle Aphasia Project operated as a community-based program to meet the needs of those with aphasia, offering a comprehensive range of support programs throughout Central North Carolina. As the number of individuals impacted by aphasia has grown, so has the need for additional services, financial support and resources.
"By welcoming the Triangle Aphasia Project into the WakeMed family, we are able to provide life-long therapeutic support well after insurance coverage is exhausted for patients and their families coping with Aphasia," commented Elaine Rohlik, executive director of the WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital, the largest most comprehensive in-patient rehab hospital in the area. "We also are pleased to extend the continuum of care for our speech/language and brain injury patients."

The Triangle Aphasia Project at WakeMed Rehab is one of the few specialized aphasia programs in the country offering treatment groups, personalized home programs, family education and training and support. Collaborating with family and caregivers, the Triangle Aphasia Project at WakeMed Rehab works to remove barriers to information, recreation and vocational pursuits for the individual with aphasia.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aphasia leaves them groping for words

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

MORRISTOWN -- Donna Gabriel paints and plays piano. Give John Dingman a set of charcoal and he'll go to town on portraits, seascapes and landscapes. Sally Cullinane volunteers, and Alvin Kornfeld has nine grandchildren to keep him on his toes.

Every Monday, these people from different walks of life come together as a group for coffee, bagels and conversation -- all in the name of social support.

"Speaking is very important," said Cullinane, of Morris Plains. "Conversation is very important. We have to remind ourselves to talk to a lot of people and teach them about aphasia."

Cullinane is one of group of stroke survivors who are living with aphasia and learning to speak, read and write again.

She speaks slowly but determinedly and occasionally flails her hands in frustration when the words or thoughts get stuck.

She looks at speech pathologist Marilyn Certner-Smith, who encourages her to take her time.

"You're doing great," Roberta Ellert chimes in.

Dingman offers her a piece of paper and pencil -- sometimes spelling out what one can't say is easier.

The neurological disorder is caused by damage to the speech and language centers of the brain. One-third of aphasia cases result from a stroke. Others stem from brain tumor or head trauma.

"The intellect and ideas are preserved, and there is conceptual understanding of word language," Certner-Smith said.

Aphasia affects about 1 million people in the United States, with 80,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Treatment involves language therapy and intensive rehabilitation with a speech pathologist in which patients read, write, follow directions and repeat what they hear.

The Living with Aphasia Community Group allows them to celebrate successes and overcome language obstacles with empathetic compassion.

Spearheaded by group facilitator and speech therapist Certner-Smith, the group formed more than two years ago and has a core attendance of five to six people who range in age from 57 to 65 years old.

The first hour is dedicated to a structured discussion and the second is for socializing.

"This is a psychological wellness group," Certner-Smith said. "No one knows what it feels like unless you've got it."

An animated dog barking "Meow!" on Ellert's T-shirt sums it up.

"For us this (T-shirt) tells the story," said Ellert, of Berkeley Heights. "Each one of us has a different difficulty of saying things."

Ellert, for example struggles with word substitution and occasionally she will speak certain words in French.

"I think I spoke French at some point," she said.

After their strokes, Ellert and Gabriel temporarily lost their long-term memory.

"For two whole years I couldn't remember," Gabriel said.

Many aphasia patients carry a card identifying the disorder and explanation of their symptoms.

Two-time stroke survivor Kornfeld, of Succasunna, produces a card that gets right to the point:

"I have aphasia.

"This means I have difficulty talking, reading and writing, particularly when under pressure.

"You can help

"By taking things slowly and giving me time.

"Thank you."

Meanwhile, Dingman hands out a card courtesy of the National Aphasia Foundation informing strangers of his condition.

"My mind works perfectly well, I just have difficulty communicating.

"How you can help:

"Speaking takes time.

"Speaking is very difficult.

"Comprehending speech is difficult.

"Use simple drawings.

"Writing key words helps.

"Numbers are difficult."

Cullinane wears a purple awareness bracelet engraved with "aphasia."

In order to further awareness, the Morristown group has teamed up with the National Aphasia Association on a campaign to create an aphasia postage stamp.

The condition has also gained national attention in the comic strip "For Better or For Worse."

In September 2006, the character Jim, the grandfather, acquired aphasia as a result of a stroke. The strip's author, Lynn Johnston, draws from her own life experiences.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Support group on launch pad

PEOPLE in the Driffield area who suffer from speech difficulties have been given the chance to join a new support group, which will be launched next week.
The Speakability group, which helps people with the condition aphasia, will hold its first meeting at The Lodge, Nafferton Slack, next Monday, June 18, between 1.30pm and 3pm.

Helen Bellis, senior group worker for the East Riding Social Services, said they aimed to work in partnership with other agencies to provide a wider service to the public. The condition, which has no known cure, can be brought about by strokes, head injuries or other neurological conditions.

It is thought that around a quarter of a million people have the condition in Britain.

More than 90 support groups are currently operating across the country, including groups in Hull and York.

Graham Johnson, of the charity’s self-help group development team, said: “It's a self-help group, so members decide what they want to do at each get-together. “They may arrange a visit or an outing, they may invite a speaker, they may just spend the time enjoying each other's company, having a laugh.”

The group, which is being organised in partnership with the Driffield Resource Centre, is open to anyone who has communication difficulties and their carers.

It is thought that meetings will be held once a fortnight at first.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Event Highlights Fri.May 4,2007-Newton Marriott Hotel

stroke luncheon flyer.pdf
mail back.pdf


Lisa Antzelevitch

Director, Strategic Health Alliances
American Heart Association
Northeast Affiliate
20 Speen Street
Framingham, MA 01701
Ph: 508-935-3902
Fax: 508-620-6157
February is American Heart Month! Go Red!

The Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment

The Board of Directors of The Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment is pleased to announce the winner of its Young Person with Aphasia Scholarship award for 2006. She is Shiloh Hendricks of Columbus, GA. Shiloh attended 3 days of intensive aphasia therapy in Pittsburgh provided by Bill Connors and Heather Mackey, a graduate student in Speech/Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh . Shiloh also attended the monthly meeting of the Aphasia Support Group of Western PA and several small, self-help group sessions with other patients. She will receive additional intensive aphasia therapy sessions as well as ongoing assistance including caregiver training and therapy materials this year. Shiloh’s thoughts about her experience will be available at Information concerning the 2007 scholarship will be available in May of 2007. To register to receive information concerning the 2007 scholarship, send an email to and request '2007 scholarship information'.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stroke Support Groups

What is a Support Group?
Line General

Support groups are a way to meet other stroke survivors or caregivers who understand what you are going through. They can provide support, help you problem solve, learn about stroke and recovery issues, help you find local resources, or just have fun. Groups can meet monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly and at different times of the day. Sometimes you may need to visit several groups in order to find one that is right for you.

Find A Support Group
Line General

If you are looking for a stroke group in your area, search the Stroke Group Registry by entering either a ZIP code and choosing a mileage radius, or entering a state, to find a group near you.

Stroke Support Group Registry Search

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Our goal is to respond to what you want... to help you get on with your life.
Who Can Join the Adler Aphasia Center

We welcome people with Aphasia, their caregivers, family and friends. You will find support, caring and encouragement at the center as well as meaningful programs and activities.

The center provides volunteer opportunities and invites you to call about ways to get involved.
How can I find out more about the Adler Aphasia Center?

You can visit or contact us at the center.

For People with Aphasia:

Shirley Morganstein and Marilyn Certner Smith have been collaborators in aphasia therapy since the 1970's, when they met while working at Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation in New York. They are fully certified speech-language pathologists, licensed in New Jersey, and New York. Their offices in Montclair, New Jersey provide a comfortable place for people with aphasia to begin or continue their journey into life participation.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Aphasia org

Canadian Resources click on Canada in Table of States below.



Sunday, March 11, 2007

Struck Dumb

Pilgrim opens festival of

Voices in the Theatre

at Boston Center for the Arts Black Box Theater
539 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02159
Opens Wednesday, March 14!

Performances through April 7

Call BCA Box office for tickets and information (617)426-ARTS(2787)

Each production will be ASL-interpreted by Joan Wattman

The third in Pilgrim Theatre’s successful series Crossing Borders Festival / Voices brings together an extraordinary array of performative voices at Boston Center for the Arts’ Black Box Theatre. Each of the four productions proposes a different use of the actor’s tool. From a confrontation with aphasia (vocal impairment due to stroke); to what lies buried under what is NOT spoken; to a border line traversed in song; to the sound of a human psyche in a haunted recognition of oneself; the four productions offer a feast for the theatre-lover.

Gene-Gabriel Moore is a veteran actor. His solo performance of Struck Dumb will open the Crossing Borders III Festival. At 72 and a stroke survivor, he has spent the last 14 years learning to live with aphasia and has also founded and directed his own theatre company, Not Merely Players. Located at 7 Stages, a highly respected theatre in Altanta Georgia, under the artistic direction of Del Hamilton, Not Merely Players is the international professional theatre whose central focus is on people with disabilities and the performing arts.

Joseph Chaikin and Jean-Claude van Itallie's one-character classic, Struck Dumb, is a play about a day in the life of a man with aphasia. Del Hamilton, who worked with the theatre visionary theatre artist, Joseph Chaikin, for many years, directed the work. In this production, Gene-Gabriel Moore performs Adnan, a world-famous classical singer whose life is turned around and upside down after a stroke left him aphasic. It is drawn from the legendary director Chaikin's own life experiences. Strokes also swept over the life of 72-year-old Moore, who this year marked his 55th year in the professional theatre. Moore notes, "It is something of a miracle that I am returning to the stage. Not so very long ago my doctors were swearing up and down that I'd live out the rest of my days a vegetable."

The path the play undertook on its journey to Atlanta is itself the stuff of American theatre chronicles. It was commissioned in the 'eighties by the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and performed by the late Joseph Chaikin first at the Taper and then at American Place Theater in New York City. Van Itallie has described the work as "a theatrical metaphor for Adnan's mind."

All through the 'nineties, 7 Stages brought Chaikin here to direct plays by Miller, Beckett, Albee, Ionesco, Van Itallie, Shepard. Moore and Chaikin were teenage actors in New York, in the 'fifties, but they did not become friends until Del Hamilton and Faye Allen re-introduced them over a meal of east Indian cuisine in Atlanta. In the last days of rehearsal of Arthur Miller's "Broken Glass," the play Chaikin directed shortly before his death, his last, he and Moore agreed that he should perform the character Adnan. Two years after Chaikin's death, Moore, who became disabled in the wake of a tumor in the environs of his brain stem and, during surgery, the first of three strokes, met with playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie, who also urged him to take up the challenge.

Aphasia is a communication impairment. Van Itallie once said, "It has been said that one does not usually recover from aphasia, but that, by dint of hard work and time, one recovers with aphasia." The intelligence is intact, but speaking takes a little more time, speaking is often very difficult.

Struck Dumb opens March 14 at BCA’s Black Box Theatre. The opening performance will be ASL-interpreted by Joan Wattman. Performances are Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17 at 8 pm. On Saturday March 17 and Sunday March 18 there will be matinees at 2 p.m. After the Sunday performance there will be a post-show reception and symposium about aphasia with actor Gene-Gabriel Moore, playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie, Jerome Kaplan of the Boston Aphasia Society and members of Pilgrim Theatre.

Tickets: Wed. Special Sliding Scale from $5

Thurs. and Matinees $20 / $15 student & senior

Fri. and Sat. $23 / $15 student & Senior

Friday, February 9, 2007

Survivors Stories - UK

Recovery and rehabilitation from stroke present particular challenges for the younger survivor. One day fit and well, the next moment disabled. The stroke survivor must come to terms with physical and emotional changes as well as significant lifestyle adjustments - mobility, job, income, dependence, relationships - everything changes.

With 90% of strokes affecting those aged over 55, current provision inevitably focuses attention on the older stroke survivor. The specific and complex needs of the younger and the more active stroke survivor have not received the full attention that they deserve.

Before Different Strokes, there was no single organisation able to provide the comprehensive support service that younger survivors need. NEXT..............

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Tuesday, February 6, 2007