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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 .

“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.”


“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 or through your local book store.

At the age of 21, shortly after moving to Ithaca, New York, to begin a new life with her fiance, the author experienced a stroke that left her aphasic and partially paralyzed. She returned home to Altoona, Pennsylvania, where she underwent months of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
This memoir takes us through the process of self-discovery by which Barbara Newborn learned first to understand and cope with her disabilities and then to overcome them. It recounts her depression and determination, her disappointment and exhilaration. Return to Ithaca ends about nine months after the stroke when the author had indeed returned to Ithaca to begin (once again) a new life.

This is a concise, clearly written story of one young woman’s “triumph over the disabilities of a severe stroke.” The author is currently the Chief of Staff of the National Stroke and Quality of Life Medical Education Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

The book is “user friendly,” including a brief Appendix that gives relevant facts about the occurrence, clinical features, and economic costs of stroke. There is also a reading list and a list of resources available for stroke patients and their families. To order .

This is the first single-authored book to attempt to bridge the gap between aphasia research and the rehabilitation of patients with this language disorder. Studies of the deficits underlying aphasia and the practice of aphasia rehabilitation have often diverged, and the relationship between theory and practice in aphasiology is loose. The goal of this book is to help close this gap by making explicit the relationship between what is to be rehabilitated and how to rehabilitate it.
Early chapters cover the history of aphasia and its therapy from Broca’s discoveries to the 1970s, and provide a description of the classic aphasia syndromes. The middle section describes the contribution of cognitive neuropsychology and the treatment models it has inspired. It includes discussion of the relationship between the treatment approach and the functional model upon which it is based. The final chapters deal with aphasia therapy. After providing a sketch of a working theory of aphasia, Basso describes intervention procedures for disorders resulting from damage at the lexical and sentence levels as well as a more general conversation-based intervention for severe aphasics.

Anna Basso has run an aphasia rehabilitation unit for more than thirty years. In this book she draws on her considerable experience to provide researchers, clinicians, and their students and trainees in speech-language pathology and therapy, aphasiology, and neuropsychology with comprehensive coverage of the evolution and state of the art of aphasia research and therapy. To order .

A poignant novel involving Primary Progressive Aphasia.

One review:

With a delicate and loving touch, Katharine Davis explores a deep and often complex relationship –the one between two sisters. Like the tapestry that becomes central to the story itself, A Slender Thread is a beautiful and utterly original creation . . . . Emotionally honest, meticulously observed, but also propulsively dramatic and readable, this is a novel that will resonate with women of all ages –and with everyone who loves a good story, well told. If you have sisters, you’ll want to share A Slender Thread with them. If you don’t, it will serve as solace –and a powerful testament –to what you are missing.”
–Liza Gyllenhall, author of Local Knowledge.

From the back cover:  When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, he or she is taking the first step on a challenging and confusing journey.   For many, it is as if they are traveling alone to someplace entirely new, with only faded directions back to their old lives.  Often, even their loved ones can only guess what they must be experiencing Michael Stern, M.D., uses the stories of his own patients to consider the personal narrative of sickness.  Beautifully written and keenly insightful, “The Lonely Patient” is a valuable book for patients and their caregivers as well as a probing inquiry into this universal experience 

 One Review:  “Stein has come to understand the emotions that patients experience when illness descends, the feeling that the body has betrayed them, the terror of the unknown, the loss of a legion of familiar comforts, and the loneliness of being kidnapped into the land of the ill” – New York Times

“The Lonely Patient” By Michael Stein is more than just a survival guide or owner’s manual for those who are ill or whose bodies are broken. Recognizing that only clinical recovery can nullify loneliness, the author reminds us that a temporary escape can still be found in memory, imagination, and hope. Physicians and especially patients will find that “The Lonely Patient” makes very good company. (A review by the Journal of the American Medical Association). To Order

Review by Lance Armstrong: “Jerry White brings his insight and experience to bear expertly for those facing life’s unexpected challenges.  He embodies the spirit of survivorship.”

From Amazon.

Author: Norman Doidge, M.D.

Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science,

Well I read this book on several recommendations after a brief bit of research on the plasticity of the mind. I was definitely not disappointed and to be honest, I really loved this book. It was a fascinating, revealing look at how how thoughts and actions can truly change the structure of our mind and it does so in a hopeful examination of many brain changing breakthroughs.

Doidge is an amazing Canadian author and he simplifies the most complex of sciences into clear, vivid stories and experiments that demonstrate the astonishing changes the brain can make and in turn, transform the people housing them.

Neuroplasticity has been formed by the discovery that the human brain is extremely malleable. Scientists have long known this is true with infancy, but the science now extends well into old age. In classical neuroscience, the adult brain was considered to be hardwired and a continuous working machine once formed. Specific brain areas and maps were labeled with a specific purpose and little was known about if or how these areas could be replaced or repaired so it led to the common belief that you can’t easily mold the brain.
Who is the Book For?

This book drives home a paradigm shift in brain study and it has great value not only to those with a neurological disease, but for any human being with the curiosity and willingness to discover more about the makeup of their own abilities to learn, which is what interested me so much!

Doidge has numerous examples of neurologically diseased patients who gain from this revolutionary science to improve their condition. Cases are studied from many severe conditions

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Order from Amazon or Bookstores near you.

Sara’s Story is about one family’s faith and support from friends and church in overcoming the impossible. It also chronicles the battles fought with insurance companies to get Sara the coverage needed for recovery so that she can live an independent life. The woman, who after 10 days in ICU was to never walk, talk, or interact with people again, now drives a car, has gone back to work, and takes care of her children.

From Massachusetts
…I am writing to you after reading Sara’s remarkable story; I found it very inspiring! It goes to show you how much our Faith plays in the recovery of our loved ones, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I am a Catholic and attend Mass every Sunday, I sing in my Church Choir and we have a very prayerful community that is there for one and other as well, I don’t know what I would have done without them!…”

From Georgia
“…and its Men like You, Sir, that makes me want to be a better Man to my wife…. I can tell you’re a Christian…….May God Bless you more in everything you do!…”

From Georgia “…I’ve had the book for 2 hours and I can’t put it down. …”

To Order: Barnes and Nobel .