Aphasia The Word Escapes Me

The Word Escapes Me: Talking About Aphasia

The irony of aphasia is that the moment you’re handed a diagnosis of this communication disorder, you are filled with a need for words. Words that explain, understand, and comfort, given by doctors, caregivers, and other people with aphasia. You need information. You need to know that you’re not alone in your struggle. You need to hear how other people are getting through the day-to-day.

Ellayne Ganzfried and Mona Greenfield’s new book, The Word Escapes Me, is a collection of essays that provide a very necessary, 360 degree portrait of the experience, bringing together all members of the aphasia team — from the individual to speech therapists to loved ones — to offer advice, words of comfort, and ideas off the beaten path.

And we want all of us to read it together.

For the next few weeks, we’re going to discuss ideas presented in the pages. We’d like you to read along if possible, and you will be able to jump into the conversation on our Facebook page. Let’s jump into this online book club.

Aphasia The Word Escapes Me

One of the earliest chapters is written by Mona Greenfield, PhD, LCSW, CCC-SLP. She talks about the sessions they hold at her center that are as social as they are therapeutic. By focusing language work around interesting activities, therapy moves into the background while current events, recipes, and relaxation techniques take center stage.

Literature Group

Poems and short stories not only give people practice reading aloud, but discussion afterward means that you can gather opinions on the piece while strengthening verbal skills.

Music Group

Listening to music followed by discussing the piece means that people get to bond over classical, pop, or jazz music, enjoying the work and talking about it, too.

Trivia Group

Pull out those Trivial Pursuit cards or make your own so the group can answer questions focused on an area of interest, such as historical events, popular culture, geography, or films.

Relaxation Group

Creative visualization allows members of the group a chance to relax, let their mind wander, and enter a space of inner peace.

The purpose of this approach is to consider the whole person. Yes, aphasia affects the brain, but those brains don’t free float five to six feet off the ground, sans body. Those brains are just one organ inside a complex individual who is so much more than a single aspect of their identity. They may be experiencing aphasia, but they are also music lovers and trivia nerds, too.

Tell us about your favourite activities. Are there ways those activities can be intertwined with therapy?

Join this online book club! Copies of The Word Escapes Me can be purchased through all online book retailers including Amazon. You can also purchase the book directly from Balboa Press, and discounts are offered on bulk orders.



  • Anonymous
    February 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for posting the book. I bought it andi in fact, i am very motivated by it. I am a carer and my partner has aphasia. There are a lot of things that I want to understand more about his inner world and moods. At the same time, to support my own feelings about it.

  • Melissa Ford
    February 13, 2017 at 12:27 am

    I’m so glad you’re finding it motivating! I’m just a few chapters in right now, but I’m really liking it, too. I know it’s a good book when I highlight a lot of passages.

    We’re going to do a discussion from a chapter once a week for the next few weeks since there are so many good discussion topics that stem from the pages. Stick around — I would love to hear your thoughts. Sending many good thoughts to your partner.

  • Susanne Lockford
    February 23, 2017 at 12:18 am

    HI everyone,
    I wanted to find out how to belong part of the discussion about
    this book, The Word Escapes Me.

    I am an SLP in the public schools in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    I will be retiring at the end of this school year, with 30 years experience.

    I’m not ready to retire quite yet and wanting to learn more aphasia.
    I’m excited to belong to this group


  • Silifat Adedipe
    February 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I’d like to help my husband more in his desire to return to basic activities. I want to find out how to join in the discussion group. My husband and I are both retired but until his episode he engaged in consultancy on education and environmental projects. But now he is pratically incapacitated. I definitely want to join the group to help him more than I have hither to done.s
    Thank you.

  • Trish Zeller
    September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I just found out my dear friend is suffering from aphasia. Probably 4/5 yrs now. I had assumed it was early onset Aizheimers as it started when we were both 55.
    She hasn’t “ come out” yet.
    I wrote her daughter to finally ask what’s going on???.
    She gave me the news. Her smother has forbid her to tell anyone.
    They answer all her text messages etc.
    I’ve become used to my friends loss of words & blackouts. I’d like to know how to help her. She’s aged so they it all.

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