Posts Tagged ‘Carl McIntyre’

“Aphasia” (the movie) and the “when” word!

February 20, 2015

Carl McIntyre’s movie, “Aphasia” is a winner. One out of 250 people in the United Stated have aphasia, but very few have heard of it. Have you? Do you feel awkward when you come across a brain impaired person who cannot speak? Wonder if they are intelligent? Wonder if they understood you? Wish you understood them? Wish you could help them, but don’t know where to begin? Then watch the movie “Aphasia”.

I first watched “Aphasia” with other aphasic survivors at a University of Washington support group meeting. The star, Carl McIntyre, plays himself documenting his aphasic stroke. From the onset, the audience is brought into the predicaments he faced – from pathos to triumph, tears to laughter. Each of us had been there; each empathetic to his plight.

When Carl’s is not comfortable listening to the babbling din in a large group, we remember. The undecipherable word sounds in his empty language center had been the same for us.

When Carl is hurtfully ridiculed because of his brain impairment, we feel his pain. Even unintentional slights were insults.

When Carl has difficulty operating a phone, we remember how difficult it had been for us.

When credit agencies call about past due payments, we share his anxiety. How will his family manage without his income?

When Carl drives through a drive-by to order a Frosty only to remember he is not able to speak, we chuckle.  On similar occasion we’d forgotten our speechlessness and had been rudely reminded of our limits.

When the word “when” shows its face on a flash card presented to Carl by his speech therapist, we hold our breath and I grimace. At this point, I pause . . . until the next post when I will expound on the troublesome “when” word.

In the meantime, check out Carl McIntyre. Find a copy of “Aphasia”. Watch it. Share it with your family, groups and medical personnel who come into contact with aphasic people.  Spread the word.


Contributed by Carol Cline Schultz, author of Crossing the Void: My Aphasic Journey.