The blizzards of 2010 have brought in memories of the Fall with the NAA's Fall 2010 Newsletter!
Inside you will read about the NAA's Fall Benefit, our presence at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Annual Conference in Philadelphia, the NAA Group of the Month and so much more! Also, don't miss the special article about interpreters and translators by the Chair of our Multicultural Task Force!
Only Less Than 15 Minutes, Brain Already Recordable New Words The brain will learn a new word in less than 15 minutes.Simply listen to these word as much as 160 times.According to scientists at the University of Cambridge, the brain will create new neural network to remember the word. The findings of these scientists explain that the time it takes the brain to learn the words turned out to be much faster than expected. Research done by placing electrodes on the head of 16 healthy volunteers.Their brain activity monitored during the test consisted of 2 stages. In the first stage, the volunteers played on the words that are familiar.The second stage, they played on a foreign word that is called repeatedly. At the beginning of the second phase, brain activity showed that the brain tries to recognize the word.But, after repeated 160 times in 14 minutes, brain activity can not be distinguished from brain activity in the first stage."Virtually no difference," said Dr.Yury Shtyrov involved in research. "To listen to alone is helpful to learn the language," says Dr.Shtyrov told The Telegraph.However, to say the word, need a new neural network, which is part of the brain that regulates speech. However, this study does not aim to help tourists learn the language.According to Drs.Shtyrov, this research is to help restore the ability of stroke patients to speak. To that end, the University of Cambridge took Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit of the Medical Research Council to develop an aphasia therapy that is named CIAT (Constraint-Induced Aphasia Therapy). Aphasia is the loss of ability to speak due to illness, disability, or injury to the brain. The next test will involve patients with stroke.As explained Dr.Shtyrov, rehabilitation can be faster by targeting parts of the brain for memory."The key is repetition. The brain works better when the conditions relaxed and not trying to remember," he explained. He gave an example in the field of sports.One can memorized the name of the players, teams, even good rules."That's because every piece of information is always repeated and the people feel no need to memorize. The brain can not memorize everything.Brain choose is important and the unimportant, "said Dr. Shtyrov.
The National Aphasia Association is pleased to announce that we have been selected to benefit from a special memorial exhibit by photographer Gina Sachi Cody.
A collection of captivating, now inspiring, photographic work by Gina Sachi Cody will be displayed at the XChange for one week (December 28, 2010 through January 4, 2011) to remember this aspiring artist, who passed away unexpectedly last October 31. Entitled "A Picture Speaks 1,000 Words," the memorial exhibit will raise funds for the National Aphasia Association, donating all proceeds, including photograph purchases, in Gina Sachi Cody's name.
"Gina leaves us many unforgettable memories, her beautiful spirit and an inspiration to live life to the fullest as she did," says her sister, Aya Cody. "Gina also leaves us her photography. She would say, 'Photography is my life. I breathe it. I live it. I capture it.' Her work is a collection of how she saw the world, therefore a story of her life. Every shot captures a feeling, a glimpse into a person, an image of herself; whatever she saw beauty in at that moment."
According to Aya, their father Michael, who acquired aphasia after a stroke when they were teens, inspired Gina.
Family, friends, celebrities, people Gina photographed and the aphasia community will remember her at a special opening of the exhibit on December 28 (from 6-10 pm) on what would have been Gina's 25th birthday.Please join us as we celebrate Gina's life with food, photography, a silent auction and more. We will also be displaying artwork by persons with aphasia.
We hope to see you there!
Ellayne Ganzfried, Executive Director
A Picture Speaks 1,000 Words
A Memorial Exhibit by Photographer Gina Sachi Cody
Opening Event Info
640 W 28th St
New York, NY 10001
December 28th, 2010
6:00pm - 10:00pm
Regular Exhibit Hours: Tuesday, Dec 28th Opening, 6pm - 10pm
Wednesday, Dec 29th
Thursday Dec 30th
Sunday Jan 2nd - Tuesday Jan 4th, 11 am-5 pm
Closed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
In attempting to clean up the mess that I made for myself in others in trying to deal with three topics in one blog, I found that I had not transferred my dogs and cats posting to my aphasia blog. This essay is really where the blogging began, so here it is transferred to where it belongs, my aphasia blog.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain episode (a blood vessel in a benign tumor exploded creating all the symptoms of a stroke) I was left with medical and the therapeutic community described as a mild case of aphasia. I know they are correct in that assessment because I know people with severe, progressive aphasia. But for someone who lived off the use of words for 40 years, it completely changed my life.
In trying to clean up my first general blog into three separate blogs, one on each of the topics of higher education, aphasia and epilepsy, I found one of my earliest postings: Words are More like Dogs than Cats.
As I reread it, I remembered the conversations that it engendered with my speech therapist when I first wrote it. That reminded me of a comment Glenn Fry of the Eagles made when he came onto stage after an intermission during the concert the Eagles gave during their “Hell freezes Over Tour.” He looked at the audience and slowing said, “This is where it all began.” The audience broke into applause before the band played the first note of the song, “Take It Easy.”
At another point in the concert, Fry gave a hint at the rationale of the title off the tour. He said, “Just to set the record straight, we never broke up. We just took a 14 year vacation.”
The next posting “Words are More Like Cats Than Dogs” is “Where it all began.” As I worked with a speech therapist for months after my traumatic brain episode to try to regain what I thought was passable use of words and language, the following idea started ruminating in my head.
Words are not doing what I want them to do. They are being obstinate and doing what they want to do. Then it hit me. They are acting like cats. They don’t necessarily come to you when you call them. They come to you when they are good and ready to come to you.
As I discussed this with my therapist, she challenged me to describe the process that I was using to try to overcome this apparent difficulty.
As she challenged me to improve, she would have me do exercises over and over again. That’s when I remembered the things that I heard or had been told throughout my life time about practice. Slowly the stories about how and why practice was useful came back. As they came back, I would make notes about them. From those notes came this first essay that described my journey with aphasia.
As a number of individuals have noted, my 40 years in the academy show clearly in my writing. One editor with whom I have worked, accused me of having the Russian novel virus. I can’t say hello in less than 750 words.
However, as many within the aphasia community have read this essay, they have found it very helpful in dealing with their patients or loved ones. This past summer, Dr. Audrey Holland translated my essay into an aphasia friendly format. I encourage all of you to look at her translation. It is found at http://aphasiacorner.com/blog/?s=Words+are+more+like+cats
I have found Aphasia Corner encouraging and helpful. I encourage everyone I know that has the smallest tie to aphasia to subscribe to or bookmark their website http://www.aphasiacorner.com One of the first things I learned is that I am not alone. There are many others who have been touched by aphasia.
I must say “job well done” to the Aphasia Corner blog. Someone at Connect, a communication disability network that publishes the blog, gets it.
The blog is chocked full of information. That’s good. And expected.
But beyond that, the blog is readable for people with mild aphasia or for caregivers who are most likely older, less technology-savvy adults. It’s approachable for people like me, new to the world of aphasia, with posts for caregivers, using computers and augmentative devices, and talks with experts.
Entering design-speak here, Aphasia Corner uses lots of white space, large type, and spacious leading to make it much easier to read or skim. It also seems to be written from a larger perspective, not from a clinical or therapeutic point of view. No “inside baseball” here.
For some reason — and I find this ironic — many websites and blogs covering aphasia and other speaking disorders are molasis-dense with information, headlines, links — all the usual clutter that makes sites so difficult to read and navigate.
The National Aphasia AssociationAs you know, technology surrounds us and changes by the second. There are many people with aphasia, caregivers and professionals who now rely on communicating via the internet. Below is a listing of aphasia blogs, online support groups and therapy programs.