One Aphasia Action is a set of small, actionable activities you can do from home that will help you retain speech progress.
This very special One Aphasia Action is brought to you by two amazing people: Aphasia advocate and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and her friend and speech-language pathologist Fabi Hirsch Kruse, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. They work together on Friends of Aphasia, and were recently featured in the film, Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down.
Try all of these ideas from Gabby and Fabi over the next 10 days.
1. Schedule activities that involve movement and lots of laughter! A friend of mine scheduled virtual dance parties when we first started isolating during COVID, and I loved them! Now, I ride my bike almost every day. The exercise and camaraderie are both great for my brain.
2. Be courageous! I never shy away from the opportunity to talk to others, even people I don’t know. I’m not always sure my words will come out right, but a caring smile and a big hug go a long way toward making other people feel comfortable and connected.
3. Find your passion. Fighting to end gun violence has helped give me a purpose beyond myself and my own recovery. When I am frustrated with my own recovery, I can focus on fighting for a safer future for others instead! This helps me to stay positive.
4. Read. The news is really important to me. I use my iPad to read and listen to news articles to make sure I don’t miss anything.
5. Go for a drive. Go on a drive with a friend. Have the friend drive, but you give them directions.
6. Take pictures. I take pictures throughout the day of things I do, places I go, people I see… I then use those photos to help tell people about what I’ve been up to. It’s a great support when I’m stuck getting to the exact words that I want to say.
7. Listen to podcasts. I love podcasts! I often share my favorite episodes with my friends and family, which leads to some great conversations. Having shared content sometimes helps ensure a more successful conversation, especially if I get stuck on some difficult words.
8. Meditate. I use an app on my phone to take time to relax and refocus.
9. Give your brain the rest it needs. Be your own best advocate and let people know when you need a rest. I cherish my naps!
10. Move ahead. Don’t look back. Focus on your future and what you CAN do.
You can find all of the One Aphasia Action activities on this list. This works best if you start on Day 1 and work at your own pace, even if you’re finding this project long after it has started. Try every activity, even if you only do it once. Keep doing the activities you like, repeating them the next day along with the new activity, and drop the ones that don’t work for you.