Help us design the iPhone app…

A few weeks ago we released our first iPhone app: Pronunciation Tutor /W/. While this app targets English as a Second Language speakers (i.e. non-native speakers of English), it has several features that may be of interest to the aphasia community.

Pronunciation Tutor /W/ is a tool that non-native speakers of English can use to practice production of the sound W (as in win, where). This sound is a problem for many non-native speakers of English because it does not exist in many languages. In speech production by non-native speakers it typically gets replaced by sound V.

Listening Practice Screenshot

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Aphasia Software Finder

These are exciting and frustrating times for those concerned with the treatment of aphasia. Exciting because an ever growing body of research and experience shows us that treatment can make a difference. Frustrating because most healthcare systems are suffering financial pressures that mean very few people with aphasia are likely to be allocated enough resources so that they can benefit from these advances – especially as there is increasing evidence that amount and intensity of treatment can be crucial.

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Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

From TED: Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.

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Meet Len Upin And His Wonderful Artwork…

Stroke and Beyond

“I thought my job, as an art high school teacher, was an ideal profession. Plus my 3 kids and my wife were a healthy, creative, handsome group. It was a perfect picture. Yet, my stroke and aphasia, my decision to select an early retirement and the loss of our oldest son was too much to bear — all within a 10-month period.”

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The Birth of the Adler Aphasia Center

Elaine and Mike Adler

More than 18 years ago, prominent businessman Mike Adler had a stroke and developed aphasia. Following bypass surgery, a blood clot developed and went to his brain. This was a man with a successful global marketing business with more than 500 employees, a world traveller, and the financial resources to make things happen. Now he couldn’t walk or talk and his cognitive skills were weak. Continue reading the full article…

Running For Papa

Papa

As I was walking back to my brother’s apartment in NYC, just after completing the 2010 NYC marathon, he said, “I want to tell you something but I am afraid you will want to do it.”

Naturally, my curiosity was piqued and when I asked him what was on his mind he said:

“I heard there is a half on the Great Wall of China, maybe even a full marathon. ”

With that one sentence, started a vision and a journey that has completely shifted my life toward something far more important than just running. No longer was it just about conquering a race and getting to the finish line. This has become a journey to educate people who know nothing about aphasia and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) by taking the fight to their social media forums. Literally. Continue reading the full article…

Unique Camp Breaks Down Communication, Social Barriers

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Mayo Clinic Health System is sponsoring its eighth annual Aphasia Camp for people with an impaired ability to use or comprehend words, usually as a result of a stroke or brain injury. Aphasia Camp 2011 will be Friday through Sunday, Sept. 9 to 11, at YMCA Camp Manitou in New Auburn.

Individuals with communication disorders tend to isolate themselves and withdraw from social settings. Aphasia Camp is one of the few camps nationwide that offers people with aphasia and their family, spouses or caregivers a chance to increase social interaction and practice communication skills in a supportive setting.

“We didn’t set out to create something unique,” said Mary Beth Clark, a speech pathologist at Mayo Clinic Health System who was one of the camp’s original organizers. “We just saw a real need among our patients and their families for a social, yet therapeutic, outlet such as this, so a bunch of us got together and said, ‘Let’s do this.’ ”The camp runs largely on clinicians, instructors and community members volunteering their time, as well as local businesses donating goods and services. Campers can choose to participate in activities, such as fishing, boating, golfing, biking, computer technology, arts and crafts, cooking and games. Continue reading the full article…

Sexual Intimacy after a Stroke

Couple laying in bed

Are you frustrated by the lack or romance in your relationship after a stroke? Do you long for closeness, intimacy and a satisfying sex life with your partner, but find that it’s just not happening? You are not alone—most couples want to be intimate after a stroke, but there are a number of things that can make this challenging. Physical problems, including medication side effects, incontinence, medical illnesses, and limited movement or sensation can cause a drop in sexual desire or function. But the biggest obstacles are psychological—fear of another stroke, depression, and lack of communication between partners. When your spouse has aphasia, sending and receiving messages about love, affection and sexual desire is especially difficult.

But don’t give up! Regaining sexual intimacy after a stroke is possible, and well worth the effort. Here are some tips that may help you: Continue reading the full article…

Speaking Out Conference…

Downtown Chicago

During the last weekend of June, on June 26th, a Speaking Out conference took place in Chicago. This year’s conference was organized at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Thumbs up to  Dr. Leora Cherney and her team from RIC, as well as Ellayne Ganzfried and her team from the National Aphasia Association for organizing this great event. In addition to the conference, RIC also organized a professional development event “Updates in Aphasia Rehabilitation for the Practicing Speech-Language Pathologist” on June 23rd and 24th. Below is a brief summary of these two events. Continue reading the full article…

Supporting People With Aphasia – Doing It Right?

AphasiaNZ Logo

The Aphasia Association of New Zealand was formed in 2007, following an expressed need for a specific organisation to support people with aphasia. Our mission is to empower people with aphasia to participate in their own communities.

AphasiaNZ is a registered charity. We run a conference every 2 years, with our next conference being held in November 2011. This is aimed at people with aphasia and health professionals. Continue reading the full article…