The Nordic Aphasia Conference will take place in Copenhagen in June, and I just received news that I will be presenting a poster!
The title of my poster is ”Online and offline re-negotiation of identity when living with post-stroke aphasia” and hopefully I will get interesting and challenging questions from the other attendees. Looking forward!
I also look forward to meeting some of the people I met in London last December. Great people doing great research!
So, what is aphasia, again? Well, aphasia comes in many types. Depending on the cerebral location and severity of the brain injury, the linguistic consequences vary.
The National Aphasia Association (US) has put together a graphic presentation of different types of aphasia, based on if the speech is fluent, if the person can understand what others say and if the person can repeat words or phrases. On their website, the types are also described more in detail. Very informative, don’t you think?
Worth noting, though, is that the terms ”Broca’s” anda ”Wernicke’s” aphasia are being critiqued.
Btw, have you seen the two YouTube videos I recommended earlier?
The third day of Christmas – no, sorry – the conference! Two keynote speakers, four platform talks, a load of parallell workshops and twenty three posters. Puh!
Some very brief thoughts from a tired but happy brain:
1) When researchers like Miranda Rose and Carola de Beer talks about multimodality, they mean non-verbal language such as gestures. That if, of course, both important and interesting – but it makes me wonder how they think about the multimodality of the Internet. I whish we’d had more time to chat about that, but I’m hoping there will be more opportunities in the future.
2) Great to chat with Madeleine Crucie about issues of identityin terms of psychological wellbeing (and thus health). She truly is an inspiration!
3) I will definitely stay tuned on the EVA park-project! A virtual would (very much like Second Life, btw) for people with aphasia to practice social interaction – how cool is that?
4) Already looking forward to the 18th IARC conference in Portugal in September 2018. See you there!
Another great day at the IARC aphasia conference! Two keynote speakers, eight platform talks, four lightning talks and twenty two posters – including mine. Thank you, all, for coming to chat about issues of online identity! I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Two very brief thoughts: 1) I can’t wait to read the upcoming systematic review by Caroline Baker et al, on depression in aphasia. 2) It was great hearing Madeleine Cruice talk about quality of life in aphasia and the potentially very positive impact of speech and language therapists. Since my project is taking place within the setting of ”Health and lifestyle”, her research is highly relevant (since identity issues are important for quality of life, and since quality of life is an important part of health).
What a day! One keynote speaker, eight platform talks, five lightning talks and twenty two poster presentations. I am inspired by the ambition level of the presenter projects, and the dedication of the researchers.
Two very brief thoughts:
1) Research about tele-rehabilitation (using e.g. Adobe Connect or Skype) is obviuosly trending. Keep your eyes open for interesting results coming up from all around the globe (not least Australia and Norway)!
2) There is no consensus about how the issue of identity should be addressed. Some argue that the goal is to maintain the pre-stroke identity, while others argue that the key to success is to embrace the new post-stroke identity (including aphasia).
One week from today, I’ll be on my way to London, to attend the International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference (IARC). To quote the IARC web page, the conference ”is based on a tradition of excellence, and brings together researchers and clinical specialists in Speech-Language Pathology, Linguistics, Neuropsychology, and Rehabilitation Medicine dedicated to aphasia rehabilitation”.
On the second day of the conference (15th December) I will be presenting a poster (marked P223), on the topic ”Online re-negotiation of identity in post-stroke aphasia”. I have interviewed nine individuals, observed their online communication and analysed the material based on social semiotics and Goffman’s theory of stigma, trying to find out how they manage their stigma and re-negotiate their identity.
I am really looking forward to the conference! The programme is very interesting, and I hope to meet a lot of inspiring people from all around the globe. IARC, see you soon!
Stay tuned: follow the IARC conference on Twitter (@IARC2016)!
”I Sverige använder nästan alla internet vilket leder till att nästan alla med afasi på ett eller annat sätt är aktiva på sociala medier. Helenas forskning, som bygger på intervjuer med nio människor drabbade av afasi, är därför inriktad på digital kommunikation.” (Smålands Dagblad 160911)
Igår kväll, på Afasidagen, föreläste jag för en intresserad skara åhörare i Nässjö. Föreläsningen arrangerades av Studieförundet Vuxenskolan och Afasiföreningen i Jönköpings län. Det var roligt och jag känner mig hedrad för förtroendet!
Alexander från Smålands Dagblad var där och lyssnade, vilket resulterade i en artikel. Trevligt!
Läs artikeln här: http://www.smalandsdagblad.se/article/vi-ar-i-hog-grad-vart-sprak/
So, what is aphasia? Well, the formal answer would be ”an acquired language impairment caused by brain injury such as stroke”, but does that makes things any clearer?
TED-ed has made a few lessons on the topic, and they are worth watching! Start with these two:
Aphasia, the disorder that makes you loose words
Watch the lesson here: https://youtu.be/-GsVhbmecJA
The treasure hunt
Watch the lesson (which by the way is told in rhymes) here: https://youtu.be/3qZmO1iKASg
In my project, I focus on the identity issues caused by the aphasia. This aspect is not really mentioned in these videos, but I guess that only makes my project even more important.
Online communication provides ways to express feelings, thoughts or desires without having to type actual words. Since Facebook introduced the ”reactions” buttons, we are not only able to ”like” but also ”love” posts, or show that then make us feel ”angry”, ”sad” or ”happy”. Facebook promotes these buttons by stating they provide ”a place where words aren’t needed”.
Living with aphasia is challenging, in a world filled with words. But what are words, anyway? If I press a button saying ”like”, am I not using words then? Am I not verbally expressing myself? When I share your post on Facebook, whose words am I using – mine or yours? Could it be that online communication enables people with aphasia to actually communicate verbally?
The Language, Literacy and Identity International Conference in Sheffield sure got my mind spinning, that’s for sure.
Manchester, July 2016.
Update: the conference team in Sheffield put together a nice recap.
June is the Aphasia Awareness Month. The aim is to share information and stories about aphasia, to raise awareness about this acquired communication disorder. In Sweden, some 10,000 people get aphasia each year, and the most common cause is stroke.
A campaign that caught my attention is ”Finding Words” at the Faces of Aphasia website. It aims to show how diverse the group is. Anyone can get aphasia, at any age! Read more, and see all the faces, at facesofaphasia.com
Read more about aphasia
In Swedish: www.afasi.se (Afasiförbundet)
In English: www.aphasia.org (National Aphasia Association, US)
My earlier posts about aphasia (in Swedish and in English): http://blogg.hh.se/aphasia-online/category/afasi-aphasia/
(Picture abocve from http://kidscures.org/june-is-aphasia-awareness/)