Teach your social network about #stroke with National Stroke Association’s awareness posts and tweets!
For an example of their tweets and posts, click on Posts and click on Stroke Awareness Social Media posts.
NATIONAL APHASIA AWARENESS MONTH
June is around the corner, and you know what that means – National Aphasia Awareness Month! This year’s theme for National Aphasia Awareness Month is “A Million Thanks for Helping to Spread the Word!” This theme was created with this year’s Host Group, the Stroke Comeback Center of Vienna, VA. Thank you to the folks at Stroke Comeback for helping us come up with such a great and meaningful theme! We are also excited to be adding an International partner to our celebration! Thanks to March of Dimes Canada and the York-Durham Aphasia Centre for helping to spread aphasia awareness in Canada.
Awareness Month Packets
As a big “thanks” to all of you who plan on spreading the word about aphasia even more than you usually do during the month of June, we are again sending out our famous Awareness Month Packets, which will include:
Awareness Month Posters with the image above and information about aphasia
Brochures about aphasia
Ideas on how you can celebrate National Aphasia Awareness Month
So much more!
If you are interested in receiving a packet, please send an email with your name and complete mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ideas in how you can make this June a more meaningful Aphasia Awareness Month, click on National Aphasia Association.
Spread stroke awareness during May, National Stroke Awareness Month, by hosting a community presentation. A community presentation can help spread crucial information about stroke warning signs and symptoms, risk factors and what to do when someone has a stroke. Follow this easy step-by-step guide to help ensure your success.
Contact National Stroke Association for more information on Community Presentations 101.
Check out National Stroke Association’s Stroke Risk Factor tool by clicking on RISK FACTORS.
Jake uses YouTube and Star Wars in this innovative lesson on recognizing STROKE.
Many people, Survivors, Caregivers, Students, etc. have been posting questions and answers in our forums/message boards section. See if someone is having the same issue you are or offer your advice to help someone else out! Go to AHF Forums!
Here is a highlight of a recent question for our Professional for the Month and the Pro’s reply:
Question from “aphasiawife” Regarding “Window of Recovery:
Is there a window of recovery from anomic aphasia after a stroke? Can any more progress be made through therapy though the stroke happened 10 years ago? Thanks.
Our Professional of the Month answers:
Absolutely!!!! There has been so much research in the last 5-10 years focusing on what we now know about about brain and it’s plasticity! It’s exciting information for individuals who were told that they would make all of the progress that they ever would make in the first 6 months or year after their stroke/insult. It’s just not true. The brain can continue to change and new pathways can be forged… it does take work, but if you do it right, the work will be stimulating, salient and fun!
First of all, check out the work that is out there written by people that have gone through this…there are several wonderful books from My Stroke of Insight (Jill Bolte Taylor), The Miracle Mind (Sonya’s Story), Healing Into Possibility (Allison Shapiro), etc. There are so many wonderful testimonials for individuals to realize they are not alone and that there is much to be done.
Secondly, understand the main tenants of recovery and new pathways are: 1) Opportunities: an individual needs lots of opportunities to communicate; fun, social, educational, vocational… the more opportunities, the more practice! 2) Challenge: the brain changes, and does what we teach it to do… the more we do for the person with aphasia, the ”easier” it may seem, but it actually denies the individual that communicative pressure they need. Instead of filling in, teach those around you to ”cue” the person… give them direction vs. the answer. 3) Support: This can be found with groups that have others that have aphasia,… a local university may have a program, or graduate interns that are looking for clinical experience, … look for aphasia groups and aphasia centers in your area for purposeful, engaging and satisfying experiences.
Let me know if I can help you further.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke, sponsored nationally by healthcare products leader Covidien, raises stroke awareness and educates Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable. The campaign now includes a free mobile app that highlights the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people recognize a stroke:
Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
This overview of Aphasia is an article by WebMed
What Is Aphasia?
Aphasia is a communication disorder. It’s a result of damage or injury to language parts of the brain. And it’s more common in older adults, particularly those who have had a stroke.
Aphasia gets in the way of a person’s ability to use or understand words. Aphasia does not impair the person’s intelligence. People who have aphasia may have difficulty speaking and finding the “right” words to complete their thoughts. They may also have problems understanding conversation, reading and comprehending written words, writing words, and using numbers.
What Causes Aphasia?
Aphasia is usually caused by a stroke or brain injury with damage to one or more parts of the brain that deal with language. According to the National Aphasia Association, about 25% to 40% of people who survive a stroke get aphasia.
Aphasia may also be caused by a brain tumor, brain infection, or dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases, aphasia is a symptom of epilepsy or other neurological disorder.
What Are the Types of Aphasia?
There are types of aphasia. Each type can cause impairment that varies from mild to severe. Common types of aphasia include the following:
Expressive aphasia (non-fluent): With expressive aphasia, the person knows what he or she wants to say yet has difficulty communicating it to others. It doesn’t matter whether the person is trying to say or write what he or she is trying to communicate.
Receptive aphasia (fluent): With receptive aphasia, the person can hear a voice or read the print, but may not understand the meaning of the message. Oftentimes, someone with receptive aphasia takes language literally. Their own speech may be disturbed because they do not understand their own language.
Anomic aphasia. With anomic aphasia, the person has word-finding difficulties. This is called anomia. Because of the difficulties, the person struggles to find the right words for speaking and writing.
Global aphasia. This is the most severe type of aphasia. It is often seen right after someone has a stroke. With global aphasia, the person has difficulty speaking and understanding words. In addition, the person is unable to read or write.
Primary progressive aphasia. Primary progressive aphasia is a rare disorder where people slowly lose their ability to talk, read, write, and comprehend what they hear in conversation over a period of time. With a stroke, aphasia may improve with proper therapy. There is no treatment to reverse primary progressive aphasia. People with primary progressive aphasia are able to communicate in ways other than speech. For instance, they might use gestures. And many benefit from a combination of speech therapy and medications.
Aphasia may be mild or severe. With mild aphasia, the person may be able to converse yet have trouble finding the right word or understanding complex conversations. Severe aphasia limits the person’s ability to communicate. The person may say little and may not participate in or understand any conversation.