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.