Archive for July, 2012

Aphasia Retreat report: “Making Your Voice Heard”

July 11, 2012

Should you ever have an opportunity to attend an aphasia conference for survivors and caregivers, it is a must. On June 20, 2012, “Making Your Voice Heard” was the theme of the Aphasia Retreat organized by the University of Washington Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and sponsored by The Lake City Lions Club who donated the Community Center space.

“Communicating with Healthcare Providers” was the first talk delivered by Carolyn Baylor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Acting Professor, UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Those of you who have aphasia, I am sure, will have experienced the same disconnect I felt at times with doctors:

“How is it then I feel like I am running a gauntlet with those in the medical community? Part of the problem is that my aphasia limits my communication with them. While one million people in the United States suffer from aphasia, most people have never heard of it (NAA). Many of those in the medical community must be among them; they do not know the aphasic mind well enough to accommodate an aphasic’s special needs. Additionally, it becomes apparent that the economic climate has forced them to minimize the time they spend with patients. They need to hurry while my aphasic brain works slowly.” (Crossing the Void: My Aphasic  Journey, “Running the Medical Gauntlet”)

From Dr. Baylor we learn the UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine recognizes that most doctors do not learn how to work with aphasia, and are doing something about it. They have developed a program for UW medical students intended to help them better serve their aphasia patients.

“What have you always wanted to know by never had time to ask?” was the topic of the second talk by Sara Schepp, M.D., UW Medical Center, neurology.

There was also opportunity to visit with others, hear survivor and caregiver stories, and contribute toward the creation of a booklet to be presented to new aphasic survivors before they leave the hospital.

More on the Aphasia Retreat in a future blog.

Carol Schultz, Author

Crossing the Void: My Aphasic Journey

Hello world!

July 5, 2012

Welcome to the blog, a sharing of information for survivor and caregiver.

 Aphasia is an acquired inability to process language. “Aphasia” means “without speech”, but may impact other aspects of communication. Besides not being able to speak, often times a person with aphasia will also not be able to read and write. They may also have difficulty understanding what they hear.

 When an aphasic stroke took my words, I wanted to meet someone who’d been aphasic . . .  and recovered. I wanted a book written by an aphasic person . . . who’d recovered and written of their experience. I wanted solutions and hope.

As I learned to speak, read and write again, I started to write the book I had been looking for. I wanted to share of my recovery to help others. It seems fitting that my book be only the beginning and this blog its continuum. Please add your comments to make this an informational forum among survivors and caregivers.

Carol Cline Schultz, author

Crossing the Void: My Aphasic Journey