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Friday, January 15, 2010

Aphasia Conversation Connection

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder due to damage to the language centers and pathways of the brain. Aphasia can limit listening comprehension, ability to recall words and produce sentences, as well as reading and writing. Aphasia can mask a person’s competence. People with aphasia know what they want to say, but cannot find the words to express it.
Aphasia is usually due to stroke, but also can result from head trauma, brain tumors, or neurological disease. In this country, about 1 million people have aphasia, or one out of every 275 adults. It is almost twice as common as Parkinson’s disease. Public awareness about aphasia is minimal, however.
Aphasia often persists after rehabilitation, resulting in diminished social participation, changes in self-image, and reduced quality of life. The Aphasia Conversation Connection (ACC) addresses the social communication needs of people with aphasia. The program is supported by the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation.
Stroke survivors with aphasia meet in a small group setting to:
  • Converse with others who are dealing with aphasia
  • Enhance social interaction skills 
  • Increase participation in social communication 
  • Gain confidence for facing the challenges of aphasia 
  • Communicate successfully within the parameters of aphasia 
  • Improve overall quality of life
Trained group facilitators enhance and support communication among group participants. The needs and interests of the participants guide conversation and activities.
To enroll in the Aphasia Conversation Connection program, participants must have a communication diagnosis of aphasia, complete an application form, and a have pre-enrollment interview. Groups meet at Barnes-Jewish Extended Care, 401 Corporate Park Dr. in Clayton. The cost is $10/session. We ask that people pay in advance for a series of 10 weekly sessions or 20 twice weekly sessions. A sliding scale is available for those who qualify.
An Aphasia Caregiver Support Group meets monthly in the spring and fall of the year. There is no cost for this program.
For information or to enroll, call or email Fran Tucker, Ph.D., CCC-SLP at (314) 273-0184 or fmt5903@bjc.org.
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