Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Publication Update - Article in NeuroRegulation

"Toward Development of Sham Protocols for High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS)"

Friday, November 7, 2014

JDRichSLP invited to speak at conference

Dr. Jessica D. Richardson (aka JDRichSLP) has been invited to speak at the NYC Neuromodulation Conference 2015
January 9, 2015 - January 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

For Better or For Worse: Aphasia #19

Jim is home from the hospital, and his son Phil, who lives out of town, has been visiting. It is now time for Phil to return to his home and family, and the artist/author illustrates a teary goodbye. You can tell by Jim's thoughts that though he is unable to speak, he understands the situation all too well.

Resources to view/use, National Aphasia Awarenes Month

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lab member receives student scholarship

The Neuroscience of Rehabilitation Laboratory is happy to announce that our doctoral student, Sarah Grace Hudspeth, has been selected to receive a 2014 Student Scholarship in Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke, sponsored by the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council. Congrats Sarah Grace and good luck as you work on your project!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Graduating my first graduate assistants!

Well, the time has come for the first students hired as graduate assistants for the Neuroscience of Rehabilitation Laboratory to graduate. Congratulations Sarah Campbell and Nicole Williams! We miss you very much already!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Activity and Exercise Post Stroke

The AHA/ASA just released information and recommendations about physical activity and exercise after stroke.

The full article from the journal Stroke can be reached here:

After stroke, decreased physical activity, exercise, and life participation is common. This article provides guidelines for activity and exercise prescriptions post stroke. Highlights:
- Should be personalized.
- Prescription should be of safe dosage (frequency, intensity, time, type) for each individual.
- Should minimize bed rest during acute and inpatient rehab phase. At the very least, stroke patients should sit and stand at regular intervals during day.
- After medically stable, exercise schedules should meet or exceed prestroke activity/exercise levels.
- OT/PT should also include cardiovascular and strengthening exercises.
- Aerobic exercise is recommended (treadmill, cycling, stepper, water aerobics, etc.)
- Think ahead to ensure exercise and activity levels can be maintained over time
- Barriers: depression, fatigue, low interest/motivation, low self-efficacy, fear, lack of support, lack of awareness, cost, transportation, embarrassment, other health problems, fear of recurrent stroke
- Motivators/moderators: social support/social networks with other stroke survivors, professional support, group exercise classes, desire to independently perform ADLs, possibility of functional benefit (e.g., driving), enhance confidence,

"On the basis of the available evidence, it is recommended that stroke survivors undertake regular aerobic exercise to increase aerobic capacity and improve gait efficiency, thereby reducing fall risk and enhancing functional independence, as well as reducing the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events. In addition, resistance (strength) training is advocated to increase independence in activities of daily living, flexibility training to increase range of movement and prevent deformities, and neuromuscular training to enhance balance and coordination." (p. 8)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Aphasia Etiquette

Are you a friend of someone with aphasia? Have you ever wondered what you can do to improve your communication with your friend? Do you know someone who might appreciate a few pointers on communicating with individuals with aphasia? If you answered yes to any of these questions take a look at this video on aphasia etiquette, created by the UK Stroke Association.

What other suggestions do you have?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Quotable - "shoes"

Beautiful words, spoken by a caregiver of a stroke survivor with aphasia and hemiparesis.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

For Better or For Worse: Aphasia #18

The last time we checked on Jim and his family, Jim just arrived home from the hospital, and both physical and speech-language deficits were both depicted.

Jim is sleeping in this episode, and there is a nice focus on caregiving, family, support networks.

The comment about every minute being precious after the stroke is commonly heard in interviews/discussions with survivors and their families. Invariably it leads to my own self-examination of what I think of as precious moments or precious time in my own journey, and a reminder not to wait until something bad or life-changing happens to wake me up the fact that every moment is precious and to be savored and fully lived. That moment, once it is gone, will never pass my way again.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Triangle Aphasia Project (TAP)

If you live in the Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham areas (or in North Carolina at all), make sure you check out the Triangle Aphasia Project (TAP)! This organization offers a ton of wonderful group therapy opportunities, including communication groups, reading groups, and even a "return to work" group. The mission of TAP is also to serve the families of persons with aphasia, and to educate the community about aphasia. 

TAP was founded by Maura Silverman, a speech-language pathologist with a passion for the adult neurogenic population. Here is a link to the TAP story:

Neuroscience of Rehabilitation lab director Dr. Jessica Richardson (University of South Carolina) (aka JDRichSLP) and colleage/collaborator Dr. Adam Jacks from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill have been named co-chairs for the research committee for Triangle Aphasia Project – Unlimited. They will be, along with their graduate students, completing testing (initial and annual) for all TAP clients and offering clients opportunities to participate in further studies that will advance aphasia programming.

If you are a person with aphasia, a caregiver of a person with aphasia, a speech-language pathologist who wants to volunteer time for TAP, or someone who wants to support TAP in some other way, contact them today!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aphasia the Movie

If you are interested in learning more about aphasia and the impact it has on individuals with aphasia, and their circle of family and friends, you should check out Aphasia the Movie, which tells the story of one man's recovery following his stroke.

In this film, Carl McIntyre (an actor and producer; plays the role of himself and shares through film his experience with stroke, aphasia, and the long road of recovery. One minute, this short film will have you in tears, the next minute, you will be laughing. Or you may also craugh (cry + laugh) as I do every time I watch it (JDRichSLP).

Watch the trailer here. I have purchased the film for outreach, clinical education, caregiver education, and so on, and it was definitely a worthy investment.

Monday, April 28, 2014

For Better or For Worse: Aphasia #17

Before you read this comic strip (installment #17 of the aphasia story line), here is a little back story, since it has been quite a while since we've posted these.

Jim and Iris are husband and wife. Jim had a stroke ( The story about the stroke and the problems that arose after the stroke are told from different perspectives – Jim’s, Iris’, their children, their grandchildren (for example,

One particularly poignant quote from the series is “The worst thing about a stroke is the waiting. It takes time for the brain to heal, and for one’s abilities to return…. If they return.” (

The author/illustrator does a great job of showing the struggle to communicate and both the funny and sad aspects of miscommunication (for example,, 

And now for #17:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Featured Professional on Aphasia Hope Foundation Website

The Aphasia Hope Foundation is a non-profit foundation (founded by a stroke survivor and family) that seeks to promote aphasia research and provide information about the best available aphasia treatment approaches to stroke survivors.

This month, Dr. Audrey Holland is the Featured Professional for The Aphasia Hope Foundation ( Here is a short video about Dr. Holland:

I have the honor and privilege of working with Dr. Holland. She is truly an inspiration to those she mentors as well as to persons with aphasia and their loved ones. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lab member presents and impresses at USC Graduate Student Day

Sarah Grace Hudspeth presented a short talk at the Graduate Student Day competition on Friday, April 11th.  Her talk, entitled “Efficient Assessment of Narrative Discourse in Persons with Aphasia” was voted best in the room (out of five) by the judges. She was entered into competition for the grand prize, which was awarded in a tie to Michael Philben (Marine Science) and Muhammad Faheem (Chemical Engineering).
Pictured below is Sarah Grace after receiving her room prize.

Quotable - "...sister can't hear a thing"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Attending CAC 2014

The Neuroscience of Rehabilitation lab (lab director - JDRichSLP, University of South Carolina) will be presenting several papers at the Clinical Aphasiology Conference (CAC) this May at St. Simons Island, GA. The titles of the talks are:

Main Concept Production in Persons with Aphasia: A Comparison of Subtypes
(Richardson & Hudspeth)

Core Lexicon and Main Concept Production during Picture Description
(Hudspeth & Richardson)

Story Grammar Analysis in Persons with Mild Aphasia
(Richardson & Hudspeth)

CAC is an annual conference for clinicians and researchers who study and/or provide therapy for persons with acquired language disorders. Attendance at the conference is limited in order to allow for in depth discussion of important issues regarding current evidence and clinical practice.

There are many other presenters from The University of South Carolina with papers at CAC:
Alexandra Basilakos
Dirk den Ouden
Paul Fillmore
Astrid Fridriksson
Julius Fridriksson
John Henderson
H. Isabel Hubbard
Svetlana Malyutina
Chris Rorden
Joseph Schmidt
Kimberly Graham Smith
Helga Thors
Grigori Yourganov

We will be sure to post our impressions and pictures from the event! Stay tuned....

Monday, April 21, 2014

An essay in The New York Times about rebellious words and "meaningless fragments"

This essay (see above link) was written by Alberto Manguel and recently posted in The New York Times. It is a wonderful and poetic description of someone's firsthand experience of stroke and aphasia. Though the term "aphasia" is not used in the essay, the descriptions of language problems will resonate with those who have aphasia and with their close friends and family members.

"But just as I was about to write the first words, I felt as if they were escaping me, vanishing into air before reaching the paper."

"But while I knew the gist of what I wanted to say, the sentence would not take shape."

"The words rebelled, refused to do as I asked them..."

"I felt as if I had been groping in an alphabet soup for the words I needed, but as soon as I put in my spoon to grab a few, they would dissolve into meaningless fragments."

"...I felt as if I were groping in the dark for something that crumbled at the touch, preventing my thought from forming itself in a sentence..."

"Unable to put my thoughts into words, I tried to find synonyms for what I knew I was trying to say."

"My thoughts outwit me."

What words, what poetry, what pictures would you use to describe the experience of speaking with aphasia?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Calling all Dawgs!!!

The University of Georgia Speech and Hearing Clinic is offering an intensive therapy program this summer called CARE Dawgs. The program will be held June 16 - 27, and will include intensive communication therapy and nutrition and meditation education. If you live in the area make sure to call (706-542-4598) or email ( for more information.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lab member receives student fellowship

Sarah Grace Hudspeth has been selected for a fellowship to attend the NIDCD-funded Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology (RSCA), which is embedded in the annual Clinical Aphasiology Conference. Congrats Sarah Grace!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

JDRichSLP appointed to Triangle Aphasia Project Research Committee

Dr. Jessica Richardson and colleage/collaborator Dr. Adam Jacks from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill have been named co-chairs for the research committee for Triangle Aphasia Project – Unlimited. They will be, along with their graduate students, completing testing (initial and annual) for all TAP clients and offering clients opportunities to participate in further studies that will advance aphasia programming.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lab Director in the ASPPH news

USC COMD, and the lab director, has been featured in the ASPPH (Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health) news!