Different types of Aphasia

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Different types of Aphasia

Describing the many different forms of aphasia seems akin to herding cats. There are at least eight types of aphasia, and the boundaries between them are more fluid than concrete. Additionally, due to the marvelous neuroplasticity of the human brain, a more severe type of aphasia can resolve to a less severe type over a period of time. This means that diagnosis is rarely a straightforward endeavor, and that a previously correct diagnosis could be found to be incorrect six months later.

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Waiting for Words

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Waiting for Words

Alex gives a talk to students at a medical school and they hang on every word. She provides the keynote for 1,000 people attending a university/school partnership and receives a standing ovation. She sits at a table with four of her peers and says nothing. They don’t give her time to speak. They are in eleventh grade and don’t have the patience to wait. It takes Alex too long to form her thoughts into words. This is the life Alex leads. This is the life of a teenager who had a stroke at age 12. She is now a motivational speaker sharing her story across the United States with the goal of inspiring others to support children with special needs; but she can only talk when people are patient enough to listen. 

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GESTURES AND WORDS: FACILITATING RECOVERY IN APHASIA (Part II)

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GESTURES AND WORDS: FACILITATING RECOVERY IN APHASIA (Part II)

The interplay between limb apraxia and aphasia is important to consider as we promote using gestures to enhance communication and language recovery in patients with aphasia. With colleagues at Old Dominion University and the University of Florida, we have engaged in a series of studies examining gestural training to facilitate word retrieval in patients with aphasia. In the training protocol, participants learn to form an appropriate gesture corresponding to a given picture, rehearse the words spoken, and then pair the gesture and spoken word to encourage gestural facilitation of word retrieval. Our study shows that this verbal+gestural training protocol is effective for improving retrieval of both nouns and verbs in patients with varied patterns of aphasia (Raymer et al., 2006). 

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Aphasia and the Super Heroes

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Aphasia and the Super Heroes

Back in the days, when I was in school, if you read comic books you were a huge nerd. I was one of them. It was the early 90’s and the X-Men was a big hit among super heroes with fascinating stories, captivating plots, a whole new universe that easily caught my attention. Then the 21st century came and what we have been witnessing since then is an invasion of super heroes and just like that, we are all nerds and that is cool. What very few people realize is that comic book characters have a gigantic social load underneath their skins, full of behavioral issues, health issues, political issues and also linguistic issues .

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 Calgary man gives stroke survivors a new voice

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Calgary man gives stroke survivors a new voice

Twenty years ago, Gordon Mathezer woke up to find himself trapped in a nightmare. He couldn’t move or speak after suffering a stroke overnight. At the hospital, the doctors said he had aphasia as a result of the stroke, which is a chronic language disorder that takes away a person's ability to communicate.

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Cursing and Aphasia

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Cursing and Aphasia

¨He can’t say anything but ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but he can sure cuss when he’s mad!” I’ve been told variations of this statement for years whenever I ask about a client’s speech. Sometimes the family thinks it’s funny and is not concerned about it, other times the family may be mortified and afraid of what others are thinking about it. This article is to address the latter caregivers.

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From Singing to Speaking: It's Amazing To See

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From Singing to Speaking: It's Amazing To See

It's amazing to see stroke survivors who've lost the ability to speak suddenly produce accurate words when singing familiar songs. This phenomenon was first reported by Swedish physician Olaf Dalin in 1736. Dr. Dalin described a young man who had lost his ability to talk as a result of brain damage, but who surprised townsfolk by singing hymns in church.

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Playing around with recovery

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Playing around with recovery

Card games, board games and puzzles may seem like child’s play, but they are valuable tools in the hands of people who experience the cognitive and physical deficits frequently associated with stroke. Therapists and psychologists target deficits by using games to strengthen their patients’ weaknesses. Matching the game to the specific deficit is a key to rebuilding lost skills.

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Broca’s Aphasia

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Broca’s Aphasia

Individuals with Broca’s aphasia have trouble speaking fluently but their comprehension can be relatively preserved. This type of aphasia is also known as non-fluent or expressive aphasia.

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How I Explain My Stroke To My Son…

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How I Explain My Stroke To My Son…

I had a stroke a week after giving birth to my son, Aidan, he is now seven. When he was between two and three years old he began noticing I was different. How do you explain a stroke to a child? While playing with Aidan, he wanted me to do something with both hands. I told him, “Mama’s one hand doesn’t work,” for a while that satisfied his curiosity.

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