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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How has traditional aphasia treatment failed the 1.25 million residents of the US and Canada who have aphasia?

How has traditional aphasia treatment failed the 1.25 million residents of the US and Canada who have aphasia?
Happy Father's Day to all of our clients, subscribers, caregivers and professionals who are fathers.
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Self-Help Aphasia Group Meetings:

6/30/09  Cleveland, OH
7/9/09    Monroeville, PA
7/8/09    Conway, PA
8/13/09  Northern VA

Planned Presentations:
2/10     The Kentucky Speech, Language and Hearing Convention
Groups are being planned for OH, MD, WV and VA.  For information contact or call 724.494.2534


Visit to read about the success that Paul Berger of VA has achieved with our program.  Paul has been working with us on his speech and language for 6 months.  He has been chronicling his progress and amazing story in his newsletters.  Paul practices 2-3 hours each day taking advantage the Aphasia Sight Reader program at , for online sessions and email for ongoing feedback and practice monitoring.  Despite being 22 years post stroke, Paul and Bill have been able to accomplish remarkable improvements in Paul's communication skills noticed by many of his friends and family.   Let Paul tell you his story at  .   The book that he published tells his personal pathway of recovery in poignant  detail.  Be sure to register for his free newsletter which every month presents interesting and useful information.  
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Announcing the Satellite Offices - Ohio and Virginia
We are pleased to announce that we are working with patients at our Northern VA and Northern OH offices now in addition to our home base in PA.  To schedule a first consultation with Bill Connors contact him at 724.494.2534 or at .
We have also expanded our online treatment program to residents of Alberta, Canada and Greece.

The fact that 1.25 million residents of Canada and the USA continue to suffer the independence-robbing, socially isolating effects of aphasia and apraxia gives rise to the question, "How has traditional aphasia treatment failed?"  Despite the millions of dollars spent on awareness, research, and treatment, the data shows too often that only nominal and limited movement toward real progress for these people and the millions of caregivers and loved ones.
We have identified twelve reasons why traditional aphasia therapy has failed so many:
1.  The treatment program has invested in approaches that either don't work or are too slow in achieving results.
2.  The treatment program lacks faith and give up too quickly on the patient.
3.   The treatment program blames the patient with comments like, "You have reached a plateau."
4.  The treatment program focuses treatment on data not mental processes.  The question should be, "Who's doing the thinking and who's doing the talking during therapy?".  It must be the patient who is doing the thinking and talking for meaningful progress toward return of conversational skills..
5.  The treatment program fails to collaborate causing the patient to lack resources at discharge.
6.  The treatment program fails to go beyond the clinical evidence and research.
7.  The treatment program fails to recognize that "Aphasia is different for everybody." and therefore applies cookie-cutter activities.
8.  The treatment program fails to provide for ongoing, self-help practice after discharge using innovative tools with caregiver training.
9.  The treatment program fails to use innovative tools and materials.
10. The treatment program relies on imitation and external cuing [ for example: "Read this."; "Finish this sentence."; "Name this picture"; "Watch me and do what I do." "Look in the mirror." ] instead of having the patient work from his/her own memory and thoughts building from the normal, propositional brain pathways.
11. The treatment program fails to revolve everything around speaking.
12. The treatment program fails to address the cognitive underpinnings of speech such as verbal working memory; focused, selective, sustained and alternating attention; and effective mental resource allocation.
 If you want to know what truly does work, stay tuned for our next newsletter.  Discover how so many of our patients and clients have made such real progress toward conversing, reading, writing and talking again.  Find out why years since the stroke and a patient's age are not critical factors in aphasia recovery.  We will be sharing details on how to make every therapy activity truly therapeutic and how to get the patient practicing hours each day.
Too eager to wait?  Contact us at or call 724.494.2534

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