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Monday, August 24, 2009

Coping With Aphasia: Paul's 7 Quick Tips

By Paul Berger, Stroke Survival Expert

I have aphasia from a stroke, caused by a ruptured aneurysm when I was 36. Aphasia is a medical word that means I have problems with reading, writing, and speaking. Aphasia is very hard because people think that you are not smart if your speech is bad. Here are my seven quick tips on how to live with aphasia.

1. You need a positive attitude.

2. There is no pill to cure aphasia. You have to do it with willpower. Therapists, doctors, professionals, government agencies, and others are tools to help you.

3. You are a person, a survivor. Think of yourself as a stroke survivor or a person with aphasia. You are not a stroke or a brain injury.

4. You should become a good listener. Other people will see that you are interested in them if you listen to what they say about work, family, and interests.

5. You should use a pocket notebook and pen. With aphasia, it is hard to understand names, addresses, dates, and other numbers. Ask the person to write it down in your notebook.

6. Speech can improve with aphasia therapy, and also, with other activities that make you think and see other people: volunteering, classes, hobbies, travel, and a job.

7. If I can do it, you can do it, too!!

Copyright (c) Paul E. Berger & Stephanie Mensh
Permission is granted to reprint this article
in your newsletter or magazine only with the following byline:
"Paul Berger is a speaker and author.
To find out more about his programs and services,
or call (703) 241-2375."
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