On behalf of the National Aphasia Association, I would like to thank The New Jersey Jewish Standard and Miryam Z. Wahrman for raising awareness of aphasia in the Aug. 13 cover story. Not many people know about aphasia until they or someone they love is devastated by this condition – the sudden inability to communicate, speak, read, write, or understand language, usually as a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Few realize that aphasia is more common than cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injuries.
More than 1 million Americans have aphasia and there are over 200,000 new cases each year. This number is predicted to continue growing as our population ages and Iraq veterans return home forever changed because of traumatic brain injuries.
We would like to compliment you on highlighting Avi Golden and the Adler Aphasia Center and provide some additional pertinent information. Mike Adler has been a member of the board of directors of the NAA for many years and he and his wife, Elaine, have made valuable contributions to furthering the mission of the NAA. We would have hoped that their affiliation with the NAA would have been included in the article. In addition to attending the Adler Aphasia Center, Avi Golden receives speech therapy and attends group programs at a variety of facilities in New York City that would all be worthy of mention. Avi also is an integral part of the NAA’s Aphasia Awareness Training Program for Emergency Responders and participated in training police officers and firefighters in New York and New Jersey. He continues to work with the NAA on this advocacy project as we set up trainings for Emergency Medical Technicians. He is truly a remarkable young man.
We do need to clarify a statement in the article regarding the Aphasia Handbook. The NAA, specifically Dr. Martha Taylor Sarno (founder of the NAA) and Joan Peters (former executive director), adapted the handbook for the United States and it is distributed exclusively through the NAA through a contractual relationship with Connect in London. While the Adlers contributed to its publication they did not adapt the book.
The NAA is a consumer-focused, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1987 as the first national organization dedicated to advocating for persons with aphasia and their families. Free resources, advice and support groups can be found by calling our hotline (800-822-4622) or visiting our web site (www.aphasiaorq). We provide the most comprehensive aphasia information and listings of groups and programs/centers both nationally and internationally.
We welcome the opportunity to provide additional information about aphasia and once again thank you for highlighting this devastating condition.