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Aphasia Clinic at LIU Post Accepting New Participants

Long-term, low-cost program encourages socialization, offers hope to stroke survivors and families


Rita Langdon,Associate Provost and Director of Public Relations
LIU Post,
Long Island University

Brookville, N.Y. – For adults who have difficulty communicating due to aphasia, being unable to talk with friends and family is a very real, life-changing challenge. Aphasia is a communication disorder that often follows a stroke. People with aphasia can have a range of symptoms that include difficulty in remembering words, difficulty understanding what is said to them and difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings. To meet the needs of people who suffer with aphasia, a long-term, low-cost extended day program at LIU Post (formerly the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University), offers remediation and socialization in an effort to help restore normalcy to their lives.

"Aphasia often robs people of the three things that define us: The ability to work, the ability to maintain friendships and the ability to maintain family interaction," said Dr. Dianne Slavin, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and an associate professor of education at LIU Post in Brookville. "A person's identity takes a real hit, so it's important for them not to become isolated, which often happens to people with long-term chronic disabilities."

The extended day aphasia program helps people with aphasia develop a variety of communication techniques in addition to speaking such as writing and gesturing.  Participants also engage in socialization through a variety of experiences including a morning meet and greet, music and movement activities, ordering and eating lunch and playing video games such as Wii bowling. Also offered are a variety of small group activities that foster discussions about a variety of topics including books, movies, current events and living with aphasia.

"It's very easy for people with aphasia to say 'never mind' when they aren't being understood," said Dr. Slavin.  "We don't want that.  It's our job to minimize communication barriers posed by aphasia and validate that we know they are intelligent and having thoughts. We take the time to understand."

The program also provides comfort and assistance to family members and caregivers by giving them a break for a few hours each week, as well as through a support group where they can talk to others who may be experiencing similar challenges.

This program is staffed by New York State licensed speech-language pathologists as well as graduate students enrolled in LIU Post's speech-language pathology master's degree program.

The program, now in its sixth year and the only one of its kind on Long Island, is held at the J.M. Ladge Speech and Hearing Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $50 per day. Potential clients are screened before being admitted to the program. For more information, call Ladge Speech and Hearing Center at (516) 299-2437.

Posted 01/16/2012

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