Raising Awareness of Aphasia, the Communication Disorder
Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Shelby Klein, President & CEO, Adler Aphasia Center, to discuss their mission to raise awareness of aphasia, a communication disorder that affects 40% of all stroke & brain trauma survivors.
"We are pleased to welcome Shelby Klein, President and Chief Executive Officer of a terrific organization I know very well, it is called the Adler Aphasia Center. Good to see you Shelby. Likewise Steve, thanks for having me. Tell folks what the Adler Aphasia Center is. Sure. The Adler Aphasia Center is a nonprofit dedicated to both helping people and their families if they have aphasia, as well as raising awareness as to what aphasia is. Named after Mike and Elaine Adler, our great friends, for those of you who have been watching us for years, you know that Elaine, who just celebrated her 90th birthday, Mike, her husband, who was stricken with aphasia some years back, a very successful business entrepreneur. Mike... we've lost Mike, but the spirit of Mike and Elaine continues go on. For those who don't know what aphasia is, tell them. Sure. Aphasia is a communication disorder that typically follows some type of brain trauma. Stroke is the most common reason why it occurs, but it could be an accident that causes brain injury, or even a tumor, or something else. And what it does is the part of your brain that impacts your communication skills, your speech, your reading, your writing, it gets damaged. And people will wake up the next day after that brain injury, they might not be able to speak, they may not be able to read, or write, or any combination of them. And that becomes very debilitating to them in their recovery, because it impacts their esteem and their sense of purpose. Sure. So we address that with the services that we provide. Let's break that down a little bit. I happen to have been honored to be able to host, once again, the Adler Aphasia Center Gala. People come together, people who are dealing with aphasia, family members, caregivers, and others who support the effort. But let's be really clear. At the Adler Aphasia Center, give us one example of a service that really makes a difference for the person dealing with aphasia, as well as everyone who is dealing with it, including family. Go ahead. Sure. We have two full service centers, one in Maywood and one in West Orange. And during the day, people with aphasia and their family members come, and we offer a variety of groups for them. So as an example, we have an advocacy group, and in that group, the people with aphasia will practice their communication skills, whether that's speaking with each other in a comfortable environment, or using technology to assist them to speak, and in that group, as advocates, as they're practicing speaking to groups of people, and educating them about aphasia, typically..."