Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program continues to accomplish in 2012-13

Throughout the 2012-13 academic year, the Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program has continued to provide individual and group speech, language, and cognitive therapy services to persons with aphasia and other cognitive communication disorders. As a testimony to the program’s longevity and quality in service provision, planning is currently underway for the program's 10 Year Anniversary Homecoming.

"Momma, Just shake it!" coverHistorically, WMU student interns have offered music therapy and holistic health/art therapy through the program; this past year, we were excited to welcome aboard a WMU social work graduate student intern. We were also delighted to announce and celebrate the publication of Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program participant Rachel Eagly’s children’s book, “Mama, Just Shake It!,” the personal story of her stroke survival, aphasia and recovery.

Rachel Eagly and her son

Eagly was also mentored to present her personal account of stroke and aphasia at the annual meeting of the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association and for Michigan State University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders student association. In addition, Eagly worked with graduate student clinicians Claire Carpenter and JoHanna Rose to develop an aphasia awareness training for first responders. This August, she plans to conduct four training sessions for Kalamazoo first responders with assistance from the students and other Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program participants.

Embracing technological advances made in the 21st century, Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program clinicians introduced use of computer-mediated cognitive therapy using Attention Processing Treatment software in the fall of 2012. In relation to increased use of cyber communication, cyber-safety posters were presented at both the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual convention and the Clinical Aphasiology Conference. The program also published aphasia-friendly cyber-safety information through the National Aphasia Association and the Aphasia Corner blog.