The Family That Couldn’t Say Hippopotamus

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The Family That Couldn’t Say Hippopotamus

There is a family living in Britain, known only as the KE family, with a few members that can’t quite say words like “hippopotamus.” They know the words, but can’t get their mouth positions quite right, so their speech comes out garbled. Some family members have a hard time saying words in the right order, and others have trouble reciting words that begin with the same letter. Multiple generations of the family have similar language difficulties, suggesting a genetic basis for their disorder.

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What a Speech Disorder Reveals About Brain Function

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What a Speech Disorder Reveals About Brain Function

The beginning of a new year means the beginning of a new term at University of California, San Diego and another request to deliver another guest lecture in an Introduction to Cognitive Science course. While I complain about having to do this every quarter, I actually enjoy giving the lecture. It gives me an opportunity to talk about one of the most compelling phenomena in cognitive neuroscience: aphasia.

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 Aphasia Therapy Video IV

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Aphasia Therapy Video IV

Multimodal communication is key to working with people with aphasia because it allows the person to use any means to communicate including verbal output, writing, gesturing, pictures/drawing or a combination of these.

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Drawing for People with Aphasia

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Drawing for People with Aphasia

When I mention drawing, the first thing that lots of people say is “I can’t draw!” or “I’m terrible at drawing!”. The other thing people say is that you can’t learn to draw, you have to be born with talent. I don’t think that any of those things are true.

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Losing Your Job After Aphasia

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Losing Your Job After Aphasia

One of the most devastating things to come from the brain injury and aphasia is the loss of employment. Loss of employment hurts on many levels—less income, which may mean less therapy and less progress, loss of a structured day, loss of work friends, and a sense that your purpose is gone. Finally comes the realization that this aphasia isn’t going to go away quickly.

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Aphasia Hope Foundation

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Aphasia Hope Foundation

AHF was founded in 1997 as the result of a personal experience of an aphasia survivor and his caregivers. After consulting professionals and researching available literature, they found it very difficult to obtain even the simplest information on aphasia. This was shocking after realizing that millions of Americans suffer from this disorder each year.

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Gardening is Good Therapy

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Gardening is Good Therapy

Although this might sound like a new concept, garden therapy has been around for decades. For example, the Garden Therapy Program at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, and in regional hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Rome, Thomasville and Savannah, has been helping people for over 40 years through gardening activities known as social and therapeutic horticulture.

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Are we there yet?

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Are we there yet?

I speak like a toddler who needs subtitles, so I ask the question of every journey: Are we there yet? I saw some research in a newspaper, real scholastic university research, which figured (scientific, of course) that the universal children’s mantra in travelling of: “Are we there yet?” is first heard 31 minutes into a journey.  I think it was some UK university that got the grant for that research.

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What are Functional Words and Phrases in Aphasia?

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What are Functional Words and Phrases in Aphasia?

This is a recurring question, and the answer is one of the simplest in aphasia therapy.

Functional words and phrases are whatever that client says they are, at that time and setting.

There is no magic set of words/phrases that apply to every person with aphasia. Developing these words should be relatively easy if the family with aphasia participates.

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Isaac is my son

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Isaac is my son

I’d like to introduce my son Isaac who is Six. To the outside world he appears like any other normal healthy child his age. Little would many know Isaac suffered a Haemorrhagic Stroke in March 2014. A bleed significant in size and located in the Left Temporal and Parietal lobes caused by an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).

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Gestures and words: Facilitating recovery in aphasia

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Gestures and words: Facilitating recovery in aphasia

Like many individuals with aphasia, this gentleman often resorts to gestures when he is unable to retrieve specific words. Sometimes using a gesture seems to increase the likelihood that he can say the word. As in the gesturing we all do to embellish a message or as we pause to think of words, it is a natural step in communication. Luria (1970) wrote about this phenomenon decades ago, calling the process intersystemic reorganization—using one part of the brain to facilitate increased activity in another part of the brain. Recent research efforts in our lab and others in America and abroad represent renewed interest in the use of gesture to facilitate language recovery in aphasia.

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What Suffered Inside Me

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What Suffered Inside Me

“WSIM: What Suffered Inside Me” is a short drama about a character named Simon that sees himself as an incomplete stick figure with crossed lines (horizontal and vertical) on his face. He visualizes simple figures with only horizontal lines on their faces as unable to see his inner self. The feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, and falling into darkness, represented by black blobs, can form clinical depression. At the beginning of the film, Simon is having a meal with a dark figure. Simon doesn’t have eyes to see the figure’s inner self and doesn’t understand him until the black figure begins to show his unhappy mood. Simon notices the way that this figure is acting and his eyes begin to open.

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Translating Medical Terminology:

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Translating Medical Terminology:

So many times during aphasia treatment, TBI rehabilitation, and treatment for other communication disorders, medical language sounds more like what aliens on Jupiter might speak! Read on for a translation of the most relevant medical terms for communication disorders!

 

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