Many thanks to Lou Nash of the Edmonds Support Group for sharing updates and articles of interest. In a recent newsletter Lou sent my way was an interesting piece about aphasia.
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language and occurs as a result of stroke or TBI. Aphasia does not affect an individual’s intelligence.
I repeat, aphasia does NOT affect intelligence.
According to the National Aphasia Association approximately 180,000 people become aphasic every year, mostly as a result of stroke. They estimate 1 in every 250 people have aphasia.
Communication is important and when we rely on verbal or written communication we find ourselves at a disadvantage when our brains no longer process that correctly. Using other means of communication, creative approaches to not only getting the point across, but understanding what is being “said” is integral to living a successful life with aphasia.
The article made some valuable points like, “Smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad are very popular, and we have found them to be extremely beneficial and practical for many survivors,” and “The use of features on smartphones such as calendars, notes, reminders and alarms can be very helpful to people with language and other cognitive deficits.”
We know from our own experiences how apps on iPads or tablets, smartphones, and other tools can assist individuals with brain injury ad their loved ones manage daily life. The technology can also aid communication. For example the Oxford Picture Dictionary is an app that lets you click on a picture or word and hear how it is pronounced. This can help them improve naming and listening skills as well as convey a message to others.
These things also enhance our quality of life and allows for greater social integration. Learning about assistive devices, resources we can draw on, and practicing the skills we learn are all part of what support groups offer.
The full article can be found at https://strokeconnection.strokeassociation.org/Winter-2016/Speaking-of-Technology/