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ACRM Stroke Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group Header

Aphasia & Other Communication Disorders
Task Force

 

Aphasia is a language disorder resulting from damage to the left-hemisphere of the brain. Aphasia most commonly occurs following a stroke and results in long-term disability of communication. Individuals with aphasia have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, and understanding spoken language, but are otherwise intelligent with preserved memory and attention systems. As such, aphasia is a frustrating disorder in which an individual is unable to express his or her thoughts fully and accurately or understand the thoughts of others.

Oftentimes individuals with aphasia have lingering medical needs following the stroke and/or physical and occupational impairments as a result of the stroke. Additionally, depression commonly occurs in individuals with aphasia. Therefore, individuals with aphasia are typically under the care of multiple health care professionals. However, not all healthcare professionals receive specific education or training on aphasia.

 

PURPOSE

The purpose of this task force is to increase aphasia education in the medical professionals that treat these individuals and support interdisciplinary research on the care of individuals with aphasia and other communication disorders. Specifically, this task force aims to improve communication between rehabilitation professionals and their patients with communication disorders to improve their care and quality of life.

To learn more and discover ways to participate, contact the task force co-chairs.

RESOURCE DATABASE for Aphasia & Related Disorders

This database is prepared to connect professionals, medical professionals, and individuals with aphasia and their communication partners with resources that are available in many locations on the Internet. Topics cover general information, to specific therapy resources, to tools that can be used by clinicians and families to improve the lives of individuals with aphasia. If you are aware of an Internet resource that is not included in this list, please email sraymer@odu.edu and that resource will be added if appropriate.

*This information serves as a resource and is not an endorsement of any product or service marketed on these sites.

General Aphasia Information >>
Many resources are provided that define aphasia and describe the characteristics of aphasia. Some also contrast aphasia with other communication disorders.

Intensive Aphasia Therapy Programs >>
This list connects individuals with aphasia to a variety of intensive rehabilitation programs around the world where language activities take place to overcome the effects of aphasia.

Aphasia Friendly Clinical Resources >>
Clinicians who work with individuals with aphasia may find these resources useful to provide written or pictured information that is especially understandable for individuals with aphasia who may have reading and auditory comprehension difficulties.

Research/Legal/Ethical Resources >>
Researchers and clinicians who work with individuals with aphasia may find some of these resources helpful to prepare research consent tools and consider options for including individuals with aphasia in research. Connection to current clinical trials for aphasia also is provided.

Life Participation Approach for Aphasia (LPAA) >>
This list connects individuals with aphasia to a variety of programs that provide rehabilitation options and engage individuals with aphasia in a variety of enriching and interesting daily life activities.

Family Education >>
This list is prepared for families and friends of individuals with aphasia to connect them to tools, strategies, and training to improve communication with oved ones with aphasia.

Supported Communication Strategies for Aphasia >>
Useful for families, friends, healthcare givers, and rehabilitation professionals, these resources provide tips and strategies to improve communication interchanges with individuals with aphasia.

Technology Resources & AAC >>
A number of software programs and applications have been developed to assist individuals with aphasia to achieve their rehabilitation goals and to foster improved communication in their daily lives.

Bilingual Aphasia Resources >>
Some resources are available to address the unique needs of individuals who are bilingual and experience aphasia in multiple languages.

Primary Progressive Aphasia PPA Information >>
Individuals who experience slowly progressive onset of language difficulties are sometimes diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia. This is a listing of resources specially prepared for this unique population. These tools might also be useful for individuals with communication impairments associated with related dementias.

National Organizations Related to Aphasia >>
Organizations around the world have been created to address the ongoing, persistent needs of individuals with aphasia. Information is provided for individuals with aphasia, their communication partners, and medical professionals who work with individuals with aphasia.

Academic Teaching Resources for Aphasia >>
Faculty teaching classes on aphasia may find some of these resources useful to include in class lectures and assignments.

University Clinics >>

CHAIRS

 

 Christina M. del Toro, PhD, CCC-SLP

Christina M. del Toro, PhD, CCC-SLP

CO-CHAIR

Associate Professor, Speech-Language Pathology Program
Midwestern University

 Michelle Armour, MS, CCC-SLP

Michelle Armour, MS, CCC-SLP

CO-CHAIR

Program Lead, Clinician Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

2020-2021 GOALS

  • Database Project: Post as a resource to the ACRM website and have task force members assigned to regularly update it on a quarterly basis
  • IC and symposium preparation for ACRM 2021
  • Host one virtual happy hour (topic to be determined)
  • Developing a new project – Ideas to come from task force members

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

2019-2020 Accomplishments

  • Developed 3 Information / Education Pages (under review)
  • Created an extensive database for quick access to aphasia related information
  • Completed a virtual happy hour related to aphasia in bilingual speakers
  • Instructional courses at annual conference

2018 Accomplishments

  • Membership increased from 8 people to 22 people
  • Development of a white paper
  • Two panel presentations at annual conference

2017 Accomplishments

  • Platform presentation at 2017 ACRM Conference
  • Virtual Happy Hour Presentation, September 2017
  • Recruited 10 members