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Aphasia Solutions Network - Online Small Group Program

Posted Feb 21 2010 12:00am
2/21/2010 Newsletter
Aphasia Solutions Network - Online Small Group Program
In our last newsletter, we discussed the history and benefits of traditional aphasia groups.  Roberta Elman, in her seminal book on aphasia groups, suggested improvement in social adjustment, enhanced quality of life, and ongoing growth in communication skills as desirable outcomes for participation in aphasia groups (Elman, 2007). We salute all those whose efforts provide opportunities for people with aphasia (PWA) and their caregivers take advantage of group activities.
In his best-selling book, Thomas Friedman seems to use the metaphor, "The World is Flat" to support his notion that technology connectedness has leveled the global playing field providing more equal opportunity for competitors around the world (Friedman, 2005).  Our goal at Aphasia Solutions Network(ASN) is to flatten the world of aphasia. Our mission is to find creative solutions and tools to give PWA, all over the world, equal opportunity to continue on their recovery pathways.  Albert Einstein's quote, "To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science." reflects well our view.

Starting in 2009, the staff of ASN and www.aphasiatoolbox.com decided it was time to find the best way to take advantage of innovative technology and multidisciplinary fields of study to translate aphasia group research into affordable, accessible and effective tools for PWA traveling the pathway of recovery.  The staff, incorporating continuous quality improvement standards, developed groups that encompassed: social support, peer tutoring and coaching, public speaking, language drills, treatment carryover, and vocabulary recovery and development.  By using commercial videoconferencing services (www.oovoo.com; www.skype.com ), PWA can now participate in small, interactive groups from the comfort of their own homes, treatment clinics, or rehabilitation facilities.  There is no extra charge for the video conferencing service and no need for expensive equipment.  We have combined videoconferencing with talented group leaders including PWA, effective techniques drawn from a variety of fields of study, and innovative technological tools. In doing this, ASN has taken a significant step forward by setting new standards for affordable, smart, meaningful and aggressive therapy options for people with aphasia on their paths to recovery.  

Visit http://aphasiatoolbox. earthwebplace.com/calendar.htm to view a calendar of the Aphasia Solutions Network's online, small groups.
Here are the details for each ASN online group:
Introduction to Our Software Group: 
Group Leader-Adam Miller, PWA, BS, Computer Science 
Group Goals:
To introduce in clear and simple terms the use of software
                        applications such as video web-cam; chat; Google apps and others 
To introduce in clear and simple terms the use of www.aphasiatoolbox.com software programs (The Aphasia Sight Reader; Verbal Working Memory and Attention Training for Aphasia)
To simplify the use of these applications 
To assist the participant in the effective use of these applications for aphasia therapy and for unlimited practice 
To assist the participants by troubleshooting any problems with the use of these applications
To provide clear written instructions and assistance for using the applications
To provide support and refresher instruction in use of the applications
To facilitate screen literacy
To make computer and internet use fun
Cost/availability:
Free to members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 2/6 seats available

Men's Aphasia Bootcamp
Group Leader-Bill Connors, CCC, SLP
Group Goals:
            To provide peer collaborative practice and drills 
To emphasize turn taking and listening skills
To facilitate participation and social communication engagement
To provide social support and networking
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 1/6 seats available; this is a group for men

Aphasia Bootcamp
Group Leader-Bill Connors, CCC, SLP
Group Goals:
To provide peer collaborative practice and drills 
To emphasize turn taking and listening skills
To facilitate participations and social communication engagement
To provide social support and networking
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To incorporate dedicated software into practice
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 2/6 seats available

Public Speaking and Leadership Training for People with Aphasia
Group Leader-Paul Berger, PWA, M.A., M.B.A, www.StrokeSurvivor.com
Group Goals:
To provide to people with aphasia practice in preparing and delivering
            speeches adapted from the Toastmasters [http://www.toastmasters.org/] model

To emphasize turn taking, engagement and listening skills
To provide to people with aphasia practice in effective impromptu
            speaking
To provide social support and networking
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 0/6 seats available

Public Speaking and Leadership Training for People with Aphasia
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Goals:
To provide to people with aphasia practice in preparing and delivering
            speeches adapted from the Toastmasters [http://www.toastmasters.org/]
            model
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To provide to people with aphasia practice ineffective impromptu
           speaking
To provide social support and networking
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 5/6 seats available

Woman's Aphasia Group
Group Leader-Janet Ross, PWA, MSW, RSW
Group Goals:
To feel comfortable and accepted during group interactions
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To provide social support and networking
To learn about stroke and aphasia recovery
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 0/6 seats available; this is a group for women

Aphasia ConversationGroup
Group Leader-Janet Ross, PWA, MSW,RSW
GroupGoals:
To feel comfortable and accepted during group interactions
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To provide social support and networking
To learn about stroke and aphasia recovery
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

Verbs Turn Me On Group
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
GroupGoals:
To focus on appreciation of, recognition of and use of verbs
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To become facile in the use of various verb forms: tenses; gerunds;
nerbs; verbs in simple-compound-complex sentences; phrasal verbs
To strengthen neural connections between verbs and subjects/objects and pronouns [subjective; interrogative; demonstrative]
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

Small Group Focused Aphasia Treatment
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Goals:
To provide ongoing effective and responsive aphasia treatment at an
            affordable cost in a small ( 2-3 PWA) group format
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To provide the opportunity for unlimited practice incorporating dedicated
           software
To facilitate the training of practice coaches and caregivers
To engage in patient/peer modeled treatment
To have fun
* This is a 75 minute session
Cost/availability:
$30.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $45.00 for non-
members - 2/3 seats available

Knowledge of Words
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Leader-Adam Miller, PWA, BS, ComputerScience 
Group Goals:
To focus on appreciation of, recognition of and use of words
To emphasize turn taking, engagement, and listening skills
To utilize everyday activities, commercial games and websites to
           reconnect word associations and word recall.
To improve adult vocabulary recognition and usage 
To practice treatment skills gained in individual sessions
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

Introduction to Sentence Shaper2
Group Leader-Marcia Linebarger, PhD, www.sentenceshaper.com
Group Goals:
To learn the basics for using the SentenceShapers software
To become acquainted with the newest SSR version
To share SSR treatment and practice ideas
To have fun
Cost/availability:
No charge-$0.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $0.00
for non-members -  4/6 seats available

Caregivers SupportGroup
Group Leader-Janet Ross, MSW,RSW
Group Goals:
To support each other in a caregivers social network
To learn about stroke and aphasia recovery
To share ideas, concerns and resources
To discuss crisis management
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 4/6 seats available

How To Be an Effective Aphasia Practice Coach
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Goals:
To help coaches learn and discuss specific, effective techniques and tools in order to assist PWA in their efforts to regain conversational speech and reading/writing skills
To identify optimal practice habits and regimens
To support each other in a coach's social network
To discuss optimal practice support and encouragement strategies
To learn about the role of practice in aphasia and brain injury recovery
To discuss how to make practice fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

Oral Motor Coordination Group
Group Leader-Anna King, PWA
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Goals:
To improve the ability to make rapid, rhythmic movements of the tongue,
            lips and jaw necessary for fluent speech
To establish normal breath support for connected and conversational speech
To establish skill in voice production and control for conversational
Speech and normal voice/speech projection
To discuss optimal practice support and encouragement strategies
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

The Assertive Aphasia Consumer
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Leader-Paul Berger, PWA, M.A., M.B.A, www.StrokeSurvivor.com
GroupGoals:
 To investigate a clear, useful and practical definition of aphasia using
            theVisual Definition of Aphasia
To identify the finest resources and tools for aphasia rehabilitation and
            recovery skills
To identify optimal practice habits and regimens for PWA
To provide a forum for discussion and questions about aphasia recovery
To discuss optimal practice support and encouragement strategies
To learn about the role of practice in aphasia and brain injury recovery
To discuss the role of humor and fun in aphasia rehabilitation
Cost/availability:
$15.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

The SLP Roundtable Discussion and Grand Rounds
Group Leader-Bill Connors, SLP;CCC
Group Leader-guests leaders
Group Goals:
To present and discuss case studies of aphasia and related disorders
To brainstorm and share optimal resources, strategies, techniques and
                    tools for aphasia treatment
To discuss practice habits and regimens for PWA
To provide a forum for discussion and questions about the evaluation and treatment of aphasia and related disorders
To support the efforts of each other
To have fun
Cost/availability:
$00.00 for members of the Aphasia Solutions Community; $25.00 for non-
members - 3/6 seats available

In the planning stage:
The Phonopraxia Group:

Elman, R.,  (2007).  Group Therapy of Neurogenic Communication Disorders: The Expert Clinician's Approach. 2nded. Plural Publishing, San Diego, CA
Friedman, T., (2005).  The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar, Straus & Giroux
If you wish to register for group participation or if you have questions or comments, please contact Bill Connors at 724.494.2534 or bill@aphasiatoolbox.com.  Stay tuned, we have plans for new groups over the next few months. Your your ideas are welcome. 


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