No “Aphasia” for Giffords? I smiled when I saw the words “Giffords” and “aphasia” on the front cover of The ASHA Leader (June 5, 2012). I am a speech-language pathologist with a passion for working with people with aphasia. I work in an outpatient setting and conduct research-based treatment at the Adler Aphasia Center ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   July 01, 2012
No “Aphasia” for Giffords?
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Language Disorders / Aphasia / Inbox
Inbox   |   July 01, 2012
No “Aphasia” for Giffords?
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.17092012.4
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.17092012.4
I smiled when I saw the words “Giffords” and “aphasia” on the front cover of The ASHA Leader (June 5, 2012). I am a speech-language pathologist with a passion for working with people with aphasia. I work in an outpatient setting and conduct research-based treatment at the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, New Jersey.
After watching the “20/20” special about Gabby Giffords in November, I had to write a commentary about my frustration—I was shocked that the word “aphasia” was not mentioned at all. I wrote a letter to The New York Times that read, in part: “It was shocking not to hear the word ‘aphasia’ and disappointing to know that the oversight prevented millions of Americans from learning what this condition is all about. What if the congresswoman was suffering from a different neurological illness, such as multiple sclerosis? Would the media have left out that diagnosis? Why not tell people that Gabby Giffords—hard-working, ambitious, and funny—has aphasia and that she is making remarkable strides? That her intellect, personality, and sense of humor are intact and that she knows just what she wants to say. How frustrating! Will she be able to express herself in Congress, answer spontaneous questions, and react to her constituents’ concerns? I am confident that she will—shouldn’t the public know that, too?”
Thank you for including this article in our professional magazine. I wish more people would learn about the beautiful work that we do, especially during this month of Aphasia Awareness.
Abbe Simon Suffern, New York
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FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2012
Volume 17, Issue 9