From an article by By Thomas Goldsmith posted in the News Observer entitled “Learning to talk again, with help from friends”
People who lose the ability to talk because of stroke or other health problems can continue to improve through a lifetime, not just for the year or so conventional wisdom once dictated.
That’s the belief upon which Maura Silverman founded the Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited 10 years ago. Now, both the organization and its core principles of community-based treatment are finding increasing acceptance.
Aphasia is defined as the inability to communicate that occurs when a person’s brain is damaged by strokes, tumors, dementia or injury. A person with aphasia may be thinking clearly, but be unable to express thoughts without training and extensive practice.
“People would be so long in the treatment process, that we wouldn’t see them until a year or two years post trauma,” Silverman said, referring to an approach that considered aphasia patients no longer able to improve after a year or 18 months of treatment.
“They were completely disengaged – they weren’t restarting their lives.”
Aphasia affects about a quarter of the 600,000 people who survive strokes nationally. Problems caused by aphasia can include devastating social isolation and disengagement from activities that define people. TAP Unlimited offers treatment and help with people who have aphasia, their families and the community, focusing on taking part in life activities and getting back in touch with people again.
Read more Here.