JACKSONVILLE, FL (IHL, Brooks Rehab Hospital, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Tuesday, April 23, 2019).

JACKSONVILLE, FL (IHL, Brooks Rehab Hospital, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Tuesday, April 23, 2019).

I presented my CEU approved class “Aphasia Recovery & Neuroplasticity” at the Brooks Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) at Brooks Rehab Hospital on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

The presentation went very well. About 18 people attended with OTs, SLPs, and PTs who observed aphasia recovery from a patient’s point of view. The group provided many questions included; visual neglect, distractions, hidden words (automatic words) and awareness as the fourth horse in the race of recovery (reading, writing and speaking are the other three).

The class enjoyed the exercises included writing with their other (non-dominant) hand. They got tired, frustrated and anxious just doing that! They got a taste of the energy that it takes to recovery from aphasia. That is what learning feels like. The mental effort to consciously affect one part or another of any cortical representation (i.e., changing dominant hand) provides a perceptible window into how our brain operates such that you can actually physically see the results in real time.

I talked about rise time or slow rise time (which no one in the group had heard of before). Slow rise time is described as the time it takes to shift from passive to active listening. Healthy people shift almost instantaneously. People with aphasia takes extra time to shift from one to the other, usually losing the first 2-3 words that the PWA can’t “hear.”

Yesterday was also World Book Day and I used Broca’s Brain (written by THE Carl Sagan!  The Billions and Billions guy…) to talk about buying books when I was still too unable to read them well. Reading a book from someone with aphasia (who can’t read) start by reading the cover, then the back cover, then the table of contents, and then reading sentences over and over leading to paragraphs, pages and then the book itself.

It was a great aphasia day!