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DRIVING AGAIN!

We are so proud of John for many reasons, but the newest is that he persevered and is now driving after not driving for six years. After John’s stroke in June 1995, he had a grand mal seizure about six months later leaving him with 2-minute seizures. Even though we began taking anti-seizure medicine, it would not control his 2-minute seizures. Therefore, he was unable to drive because of not knowing when a seizure would occur. However, about two years ago our doctor, Dr. Dostrow, changed his medicine. It seemed to control his seizures—he has not had any more! Therefore, John began wondering if he could now drive. After checking with the Kansas driving department, we found out that he had to be seizure free for six months. Therefore, after six months our neurologist said that John should go to The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City to be tested on his reflexes and his cognitive skills. Before we could begin this program, we had to have a letter from his doctor saying that he recommended John to begin his evaluation.
These are the steps we had to do in order for John to be able to drive again:

1. A written letter from your doctor.
2. Take the written test at the Kansas Driving License Department. (You can have an oral test if requested.)
3. Find a Rehabilitation Institute which has an “Automobility Driver’s Education Program”. This program will assist disabled individuals in resuming or learning to drive independently. The program consists of three broad phases: evaluation, equipment procurement and modification of your vehicle, and behind-the-wheel training. Our program cost us $410.00 for the evaluation. Some was covered by our insurance. The actual driving cost around $55.00 an hour and depends on the necessary hours they think you need to be safe and to be able to pass the driving test.
4. John had to take 10 hours of driving time.
5. Had to have a left foot gas pedal installed from the Handicap Conversions, Inc.in Kansas City. (Total cost: $276.25)
6. Went back to Kansas Driving License for final driving test.

John has never been this proud of an accomplishment as he is with having his driving license again. It means so much more independence for John. The first thing he did was to tell me the next day, “Judi, you stay home; I go to the movie!”

As you can see, this procedure took a little time for John to be a driver again; but it was worth every minute of it!

Darryl W. Moulder was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He was raised in Greenville, Mississippi (among many places) as the oldest of three sons. He completed high school at Riverside High School and went on to become a paramedic and Training Chief at the Greenville Fire Department. He worked for 22 years at The Greenville Fire Department. The priority in Darryl’s life is and was serving the Lord and being an amazing husband and father. Darryl also enjoys riding his motorcycle with friends, playing the drums, paintball, wakeboarding, and traveling.
On April 16, 2011, it seemed like a normal Saturday afternoon. Darryl and his wife, Mary, were out in the backyard playing with their children, Dawson Taylor (4) and Madelyn (1), when Darryl began staring off and was instantly unable to speak. He was rushed to the local hospital, where they were not equipped to deal with the situation. Within minutes, Darryl was paralyzed on his right side and remained unable to speak. He was then transported to Jackson, MS. The doctors explained how extremely serious Darryl’s condition was and they did not express much hope for the upcoming days; however, God is in control.
Darryl, at the young age of 39, had a massive stroke. He was diagnosed with a blood disorder. As the days passed, the doctors were amazed at what they saw. Darryl was regaining use of his right leg and gaining feeling in his right fingers.
Darryl is currently recovering at home, after three weeks at Methodist Rehabilitation in Jackson, MS. Thanks to the speech therapy and Darryl’s hard work in and out of therapy, he can now say his family members’ names and many other words if he is given verbal cues. Darryl puts 110% in all the time. Everyday is now a challenge and not very much is taken for granted. Doctors and therapists assure him that this will be a very long and challenging road for Darryl and his family. Darryl currently attends speech and occupational therapy at an outpatient facility.

An Organization dedicated to help future students within the Speech Pathology industry in finding the best program to fill their needs. Real More

From The National Stroke Association Lenice Hogan, 46, has won the identity crisis facing many stroke survivors who are progressing through recovery. “I spent two years as a victim,” says Hogan, a Faces of Stroke Ambassador, “but have definitely moved to survivor.” Hogan is a survivor of not one stroke, but three, all at young ages. She survived hemorrhagic strokes at the ages of 26, 38 and 39. Only the third was actually recognized as stroke—the first two went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Read more of Lenice’s and other’s stories

EMPOWER

EMPOWER: Living Well with Aphasia. DVD, 5 minutes. This DVD was created by people with aphasia at the SCALE Center in Baltimore, MD to encourage their peers to fully participate in life. The acronym, “EMPOWER” is used to provide seven recommendations for re-engaging community. Great DVD for you support group or program! Order

By Carol Cline Schultz

Carol Schultz suffered an aphasic stroke that left her completely without words. She could neither speak, read nor write, and understood spoken words only with great difficulty. “Crossing the Void” is the story of her courageous journey back.

With the language part of her brain permanently damaged, in a different approach to re-learning speech and writing, Schultz taught herself to picture individual letters to prompt the sounds that would become words. Her book describes the painstaking process that led her from wordlessness to book author. Order .

An article By Randy Stark published in the Stroke Network May Newsletter

Have you ever wondered why some golfers stare at the ball for so long before they actually swing? Or why some basketball players seem to zone out just before shooting a free throw? And some track and field athletes seem to be in a trance right before they line up to race? Chances are, these athletes are tapping into the amazing potential of the human mind.

No, there’s nothing supernatural or weird going on at that free throw line. I’m not suggesting that he’s trying to mentally levitate the ball toward the hoop. (Although that probably couldn’t hurt Shaquille O’Neal’s free-throw percentage!) I’m talking about the use of mental practice….also known as visualization, or imagery.

For many years, great athletes have used mental training as well as physical training to achieve their maximum performance. When performing mental practice, a person visualizes the entire task or skill they are trying to improve, imagining every specific movement of that activity. From start to finish, the athlete will mentally rehearse the movement or skill, and can actually improve his/her physical performance of that movement or skill through mental practice.

In his book “Mental Training for Peak Performance,” Steven Ungerleider, PhD, reports of a study conducted on Olympic track and field athletes regarding mental practice. Out of 633 athletes surveyed, 83 percent reported using mental practice as part of their training. Some mentally practice their performance right before the sport or event, but others set aside time for mental practice as part of their daily training regimen.

Obviously I didn’t write this article to encourage you in your golf game, or prepare you for the next summer Olympics. Mental practice is a not just a widely used training technique for athletes, but also a valuable treatment option in stroke recovery.

Consider the research below on the effectiveness of mental practice in stroke rehab.

Read More

There are many websites that offer games that stimulate your brain and lead to brain health.
Here are just a few:

Lumosity - Improve brain health and performance.
• Brain training produces real world benefits
• Enhance memory, attention and creativity
• Easy, web-based brain training program
Lumosity

Brain Games – by aarp
Have fun working your memory, problem-solving and language skills with these new online games. Adjust the game to your skill level and see how you rate next to top players. Have a favorite? We’d love to hear what you think. Cast your vote using the poll at the lower left. aarp brain games

Games For The Brain: : Games For The Brain

Check more websites for brain health by going to Google

Games for Purchase:

Writing classes:
Scrabble: Scrabble

Scrabble Slam (cards): Scrabble Slam

Scattergories: Scattergories

Boggle: Boggle

Speech classes:
Catch Phrase!: Catch Phrase

Guestures: Guestures

Likewise: Likewise

Name 5: Name 5

“Everyone who cherishes the gift of language will cherish Diane Ackerman’s narrative masterpiece, an exquisitely written love story and medical miracle story, one that combines science, inspiration, wisdom, and heart.

One day Ackerman’s husband, Paul West, an exceptionally gifted wordsmith and intellectual, suffered a terrible stroke. When he regained awareness he was afflicted with aphasia-loss of language-and could utter only a single syllable: “mem.” The standard therapies yielded little result but frustration. Diane soon found, however, that by harnessing their deep knowledge of each other and her scientific understanding of language and the brain she could guide Paul back to the world of words. This triumphant book is both a humane and revealing addition to the medical literature on stroke and aphasia and an exquisitely written love story: a magnificent addition to literature, period.”

Order

“This aphasia must be akin to what a foreigner feels knowing very little English. After all, I am learning English as a second language — English the Second Time Around.”

Schultz suffered an aphasic stroke that left her completely without words. She could not speak, read nor write and had difficulty understanding words spoken to her. “Crossing the Void” is the story of her courageous journey back.

With the language part of her brain permanently damaged, in an unorthodox approach to re-learning speech and writing, she taught herself to visualize words to prompt her speech. Her book describes the painstaking process that led her from wordlessness to book author.

In a masterfully crafted narrative, the author brings the reader into her aphasic mind enabling them to better understand what it is like to be aphasic. She provides fascinating insight into the workings of a damaged brain driven to regain normalcy, as well as a frank appraisal of the resources available to help aphasic victims. Hers is the inspiring story of a woman determined to overcome a major disability and, now, to help others do so as well.

“Crossing the Void” is a compelling read for everyone. But especially, it begs to be read by every professional and lay person working with aphasia and language learning disorders.

Order this book through www.crossingthevoid.com or through your local book store.