Last week I visited the Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful facility with a welcoming and compassionate speech pathology staff. I was invited to speak to their Stroke and Brain Injury Support Group. They were a wonderful group of people who listened intently and offered a wealth of information.. The question/answer and discussion segment was enlightening, their stories and accomplishments were outstanding. We shared our difficulties concerning aphasia, coping skills, the feeling of isolation, and the awkward feeling of being “different.” We discussed how the stroke/brain injuries gave us a new life which we should enjoy to the fullest. We decided to discard the ‘old baggage’ and eliminate people from our life who make us uncomfortable. I was asked what I missed the most after my stroke; my response was an emotional moment – teaching. As the group was leaving a lovely woman approached me in tears. She also was a teacher who desperately needed to teach again. We brainstormed and arrived at some possibilities for her to return to the world of education. She hugged me as we both cried for our loss of teaching abilities and new ideas to be part of the education system again including writing lesson plans and up dating curriculum. We both departed with a sense of hope and thoughts of beginning her new life. Support groups can change lives – join one to listen and share. You will definitely feel better.
Category Archives: conversations
Silent and listen are key elements within a conversation. This is especially true for people with aphasia. Background noise distracts and can cause confusion for the person with aphasia. Both parties need to listen in able to comprehend what is being said and to understand each other. There will be moments when the person with aphasia needs more time to comprehend or respond to your comments – silence on your part is extremely helpful for the person with aphasia. It allows them to collect their thoughts and respond. Ironically there is a commonality to Silent and Listen in all conversations
SILENT and LISTEN share the same letters.