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Aphasia Group Spotlight

Summer/Fall 2011

The Community Aphasia Group
Medford, MA

The Community Aphasia Group (CAG), at the Community Rehab Care, Inc. is located in Medford, Massachusetts.  Community Rehab Care, Inc. also two other  locations in Newton and Quincy, Massachusetts.  The CAG meets from 10:45am-1:00pm every Tuesday.  The group has between 6-9 members who are in various stages of recovery who utilize  a variety of communication modalities (e.g., speaking, writing, gestures, augmentative communication devices).  The purpose of the group is to provide a therapeutic environment for individuals with aphasia to interact socially with others in similar situations and to practice communicating in a naturalistic, yet safe environment.  Activities include current event discussions, writing and computer activities, card games, community outings, yoga and meditation, playing games on the Wii, etc.

Research suggests that group aphasia treatment may increase communicative initiation and turn-taking, improve generalization of skills, promote naturalistic language use, improve psychosocial function, provide health benefits, and provide opportunities for interactions with those who share similar issues and feelings.

CAG members reported improved confidence and demonstrated increased communicative interactions as a result of group therapy.  One member said that the CAG gives him the opportunity to practice communicating in a safe and supportive environment, which has helped him build confidence when communicating with others out in the community.  Another member said that she enjoys practicing her communication skills in the group setting and then using them with her family at home to better express herself.  Finally, another member clearly expressed her frustrations when she stated, "I think, but I cannot speak."  But subsequently stated that CAG helped her to better express herself by using a variety of communication modalities and practicing her skills in a supportive environment.

For more information on this group contact Amy Karas at akaras@brain-injury-rehab.com