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Friday, July 30, 2010

NAA Spring/Summer 2010

NAA Spring/Summer 2010
Dear Member

Lay out the blanket, open the picnic basket, and unwind as you enjoy reading the NAA's Spring/Summer 2010 Newsletter.  This issue is so chock-full of goodies that you may want to be on the look out for hungry ants!

Before we give you a sneak peak at what you'll find in the Newsletter, we would like to THANK YOU ALL for yet another successful National Aphasia Awareness Month!  While you will read about how the NAA celebrated, we still would love to know how you did.  Please send us pictures and summaries about your activities so that we may include them on our Awareness Month 2010 page (  As you can see, it needs to be filled!

On to the Newsletter!  This season we celebrate a very special anniversary with our "Group of the Month," share a fraction of the positive feedback that we have received about the Emergency Responder Project, announce yet another Regional Speaking Out! Conference, and even include special news for our PPA readers.  And if you think that's a lot of exciting items to read - there's so much more that we did not even mention!

In order to begin reading, click here or paste into your web browser.  Don't forget that you will need the most recent Adobe Acrobat Reader to be able to view the file properly.
Ellayne Ganzfried, Executive Director
Amy Coble, Info/Admin Coordinator
The National Aphasia Association
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Aphasia (Health Tip)

Aphasia is a possible result of a stroke. Here, we discuss the three forms this condition can take.

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Pembroke man has miracle brain injury recovery, but now faces rape trial

Competency is central issue for Pembroke man

By Jennifer Mann
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jul 21, 2010 @ 07:38 AM
Brain injuries from a boat accident left Sean Ebert unable to walk, talk or feed himself. That was 15 years ago, when the 10-year-old from Pembroke arrived at Boston City Hospital with a fractured skull and a broken collarbone, in severe shock and bleeding from both ears.
Doctors had to induce a coma, and for several heart-wrenching days, his family waited. Then Ebert awoke.
What followed over the next year was what many called a miraculous recovery, chronicled by The Patriot Ledger at the time. Ebert regained control of his body and returned to school.
He later learned to swim, got one of his ears pierced and considered playing hockey again. 
Ebert’s recovery from the July 16, 1995, crash on Monponsett Pond in Halifax was a story of personal triumph. Now it has emerged as a central issue in his pending trial on charges of child rape.
Pembroke police, who arrested Ebert in March 2009, say he raped and sexually assaulted a girl from 2001 to 2004, beginning when she was 8 and he was 16. He was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned in Superior Court last May, pleading innocent to charges of forcible child rape, indecent assault and battery on a child, intimidating a witness and open and gross lewdness.
Ebert’s competency to stand trial was the focus of a hearing scheduled for today in Brockton Superior Court.
Ebert’s attorney, Jack Atwood, argues that Ebert, now 25 and living with his parents in Pembroke, still suffers repercussions from the accident that prevent him from adequately participating in his own defense.
“The kid gets hit in the head and they’re baby-sitting him for the rest of his life,” Atwood said with a shake of his head as he discussed the case with a reporter after a March hearing. “He doesn’t even get my name right.”
Dr. Ronald Ebert, a psychiatrist hired by the defendant, determined after an evaluation that Ebert is not competent to stand trial, according to court records.
The court had Dr. Ann Johnson evaluate Ebert last September. She testified that Ebert “had substantial deficits and was severely impaired in his trial-related competency,” and that she was unsure whether he could regain competency, according to an affidavit filed by Plymouth County prosecutor Suzanne McDonough.
McDonough planned to ask the judge today to allow the prosecution’s own expert to examine Ebert. She also plans to ask for records from Ebert’s past employers and from the Silver Lake and Pembroke school systems, which Ebert attended from 1990 to 2003.
“The defendant’s competency is an issue for the court to decide based on the evidence presented,” Bridget Middleton, spokeswoman for the Plymouth County district attorney’s office, said. She declined further comment.
Atwood is seeking to suppress the school records, arguing that they were obtained by police and improperly viewed by prosecutors without a court hearing.
In the 1995 crash, Ebert was riding in a boat with his two older brothers when a 14-year-old on a personal watercraft lost control and crashed into the boat exactly where Ebert was sitting. Ebert was the only one hurt.
His recovery was filled with challenges, The Ledger reported in subsequent stories. His memory was shattered and he had to relearn who his family was. It took five months for him to remember events from his childhood. He suffered from aphasia, a condition in which a person can’t associate objects with their names. He saw neurologists, speech therapists and reading specialists.
Ebert’s mother told police that a neuropsychologist in 2001 determined that her son’s alleged sexual impulses were the result of his head injury, according to a court affidavit. The family did not return phone calls for this article.
David Frank of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly said a defendant’s competency to stand trial comes up fairly regularly. While often confused with the insanity defense, competency can return as an issue throughout a case. It hinges on whether a defendant understands court proceedings and can assist his or her lawyer, Frank said.
“These cases tend to come down to battles of the experts,” he said. “If you talk to judges and people familiar with the issue of competency, they will tell you: these are among the most difficult questions to answer.”
Jennifer Mann may be reached at
READ MORE about this issue.
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Announcing the Online Aphasia Communication Café

Announcing the Online Aphasia Communication Café
We now offer aphasia treatment in the following languages:English
Several other Indian languages
American Sign Language

Our next issue will discuss recent presentations by our staff, including both speech therapists and people with aphasia at the National Aphasia Association's regional conference in Washington, DC and the International Aphasia Conference Montreal, Canada.
People with aphasia benefit from chatting with others, meeting new people, making new friends, and sharing ideas and thoughts.  The Online Aphasia Communication Café is a chance for people with aphasia to do just that!
The Aphasia Solutions Network and continue to combine innovative ideas with technological solutions to advance the world of aphasia recovery.  As part of our efforts to flatten the world of aphasia and to provide effective and affordable ways for people with aphasia to continue to aggressively travel the pathway of aphasia recovery, we present our Online Aphasia Communication Café.
We use the simplicity of videoconferencing ( ) to allow people with aphasia to communicate with other people with aphasia online in the comfort of their own homes. Evidence clearly demonstrates the importance of engagement, peer social interaction and group interaction for adults with communication problems. If you are a person with aphasia or if you are an SLP who has a client, active or discharged, or a friend or family member who might benefit, feel free to let them know about the café.
In order to participate, the person needs to:
1.   register with
2.   add the following friends -  aphasia;aphasia2; aphasia3 .
3.   register and receive the simple instructions by emailing
4.   visit our group calendar at
5.   select an online café for details
       6.   ask via the chat feature permission to join the chat and VOILA! - enjoy the banter with other people with aphasia.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments -- or724-494-2534.

The following is the consumer information about the cafés available on our online calendar clicking the group title on the calendar:
Name - The Aphasia Communication Cafe
When - Monday 7 pm est - 8 pm est
Where -
Description - Host Janet Ross. Alberta Canada -  the Aphasia Communication Cafe is basically an online coffee shop for people with aphasia to meet new people, make new friends from all over the world, and share ideas,thoughts and stories.  They can also practice using what skills they have been working on in aphasia treatment.  This cafe is exclusively for people with aphasia and/or apraxia.  Cost - no charge at this time - this is a public service of and the family of people with aphasia at The Aphasia Solutions Network. Seats available -- 6 on a first come first seated basis.   For more information and to register for the cafes please contact Bill Connors at  

Tuesday 11 am est - noon est Host Paul Berger, Falls Church VA
Wednesday  3 pm -- 4 pm est   Host Adam Miller , Bronx NY
Thursday 9 am est - 10 am est Host  Mary Smith, Eugene OR
We will be adding more cafés as needed.  If you are a person with aphasia and are interested in hosting a group contact us.
"I want to thank our people with aphasia who have worked so diligently in treatment in improving their communication skills that they are able to host these groups."  Bill Connors
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This email was sent by Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment, 10592 Perry Highway, PMB 222, Wexford, PA 15090, using Express Email Marketing. You subscribed to this permission-based list on 11/19/2006.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Aphasia ? Treatment for Aphasia

Aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For most people, these are parts of the left side (hemisphere) of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often as the result of a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as in the case of a brain tumor. The disorder impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage.
Some people with aphasia have trouble using words and sentences (expressive aphasia). Some have problems understanding others (receptive aphasia). Others with aphasia struggle with both using words and understanding (global aphasia).
Aphasia is a total or partial loss of the ability to speak correctly or to understand or comprehend what is being said. It may be caused by brain injury or disease. It’s most often caused by a stroke that injures the brain’s language center, located on the left side of the brain in most people. Some people with aphasia recover quickly and completely after a stroke. Others may have permanent speech and language problems.
Causes of Aphasia
The most common cause of aphasia is brain damage resulting from a stroke — the blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. This disruption of the blood supply leads to brain cell death or damage in areas of the brain controlling language. Aphasia may also be caused by a severe head injury, a brain tumor or an infection.
Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain. Many times, the cause of the brain injury is a stroke. A stroke occurs when, for some reason, blood is unable to reach a part of the brain. Brain cells die when they do not receive their normal supply of blood, which carries oxygen and important nutrients. Other causes of brain injury are severe blows to the head, brain tumors, brain infections, and other conditions of the brain.
Treatment for Aphasia
Starts early: Therapy is most effective when it begins soon after the brain injury.
Builds on success: The speech-language pathologist uses exercises to improve and practice communication skills. These may begin with simpler tasks such as naming objects and evolve into more complex exercises of explaining the purpose of an object.
Group therapy offers the opportunity to use new communication skills in a comfortable setting. Stroke clubs, which are regional support groups formed by individuals who have had a stroke, are available in most major cities. These clubs also offer the opportunity for individuals with aphasia to try new communication skills. In addition, stroke clubs can help the individual and his or her family adjust to the life changes that accompany stroke and aphasia.
Language therapy should begin as soon as possible and be tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Rehabilitation with a speech pathologist involves extensive exercises in which patients read, write, follow directions, and repeat what they hear. Computer-aided therapy may supplement standard language therapy.
The Timing of Therapy is Critical: Some people with aphasia completely recover without treatment. In most cases, however, therapy should begin as soon as possible after the injury and be tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Rehabilitation with a speech-language pathologist involves extensive exercises in which patients read, write, follow directions, and repeat what they hear.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Bloggings On Nurse And Allied Health Immigration

by Christopher T. Musillo

July 09, 2010

2010-11 OES Wages Have Been Released

On July 1 of every year the US Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Data Center is updated to reflect the 2010-11 USDOL Prevailing Wages (PW). These PWs generally increase and can impact future Green Card Applications and H-1B Petitions.

Correct application of the PW rules is critical in the H-1B process. Among other wage rules, H-1B Beneficiaries may not be paid less than the Prevailing Wage. There is no affirmative duty to raise an existing H-1B workers’ wage unless an amendment or extension to the H-1B is filed. H-1Bs are the visa of choice for many healthcare occupations including, Physicians, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, some nursing roles, and many other allied occupations.

For green card cases, employers should make sure that their postings and advertising processes reflect these increased wages, unless a PWD is already in place. Failure to account for the increased Prevailing Wages could prove fatal to some green card cases.
To read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog, visit or
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PAID STUDY - NYU Center for Brain Imaging

PAID STUDY – Must be 18 years or older
Name of study:

Contact information:
Name: Carolyn Falconer M.S. CCC-SLP
Phone: 212-998-5230

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