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Total Communication – top tips

By Michael P Dean, on 24 March 2017

TCMembers of the Total Communication Group at the UCL Clinic have worked together to produce a poster about Total Communication and the ways in which other people can support those who use it. They have some interesting ideas about things that help them use Total Communication!

 

You can download the poster by clicking on this link.

Mexican recipes

By Michael P Dean, on 23 March 2017

mexican food

Hola Everyone,

I am J. I come from Mexico and I live in London.

I love to cook and eat Mexican food.

I am a member of the UCL Clinic and I would like to share my recipes with everyone. Enjoy!

Buen Provecho! J.

You can open a copy of the recipes by clicking on this link.

March newsletter

By Michael P Dean, on 16 March 2017

A bumper addition of the clinic’s newsletter can be downloaded by following this link.

The newsletter contains summaries of recent projects, news, and contributions from our service users.

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Read all about it

By Michael P Dean, on 23 February 2017

Members of one of the Clinic’s groups recently worked on a letter that has been published in our local newspaper. Click on this link to read the letter in full.

Why did you, the group, write the letter to Camden New Journal?

To draw attention to people about aphasia and the cuts to aftercare. Wanted the MP to do something about it.

How do you feel about your letter being published?

It’s a good start. Need it in other papers and media too.

Team effort! All the people in the group helped to write the letter including the student speech and language therapists and some family members.

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Research Update Newsletter

By Michael P Dean, on 3 February 2017

ChandlerHouse_01[1]We keep a register of people with acquired communication difficulties who would like to take part in research projects.  Our first newsletter for research participants can be downloaded by clicking here (pdf file). It contains summaries of recently completed projects as well as some coming up, plus an article written by a research volunteer. If you would like to take part, get in touch – details are in the newsletter.

“Lost and Found” – UCL Communication Clinic at the Bloomsbury Festival

By Michael P Dean, on 1 November 2016

People who attend the UCL Communication Clinic contributed to this year’s Bloomsbury Festival. The theme of the festival was ‘Language’ and the Clinic’s exhibits sought to raise awareness of the challenges of living with communication difficulties.

bloomsbury festival

Volunteers from the UCLU Giving Voice Society assisted on the day. Read their excellent summary of the exhibits and the feedback received from members of the public here.

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A Stitch of Time: Reading and discussion with aphasic author Lauren Marks

By Michael P Dean, on 19 October 2016

a-stitch-of-time-9781451697513_hr[1]Wednesday 2nd November, 5pm, Chandler House, Room G10. All welcome

Lauren spent a decade in professional theatre and pursued a PhD at The Graduate Center at City University of New York. When she was twenty-seven, she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She woke up in a hospital with impairments to her reading, speaking, and writing abilities, and a diagnosis: aphasia.

Lauren will be reading from her memoir “A Stitch of Time,” to be published next year by Simon & Schuster. You can read (and hear) more at her website: http://www.astitchoftime.com/

 

The event will also include interactive exhibits and artwork co-created by clients at the Communication Clinic for this year’s Bloomsbury Festival. More on this soon!

 

Why are some sentences easier to produce for speakers with aphasia, while others are difficult?

By Michael P Dean, on 23 August 2016

VitorVolunteers from the UCL Communication Clinic have been helping to tackle this question by taking part in Dr Vitor Zimmerer’s research.

One answer is that sentences with more complicated ‘grammar’ are more difficult. Another answer is that how often you hear or say a sentence is important. For example, the sentences “I don’t know” and “You don’t know” are equally complicated, but people use “I don’t know” much more often. Words in commonly used sentences are stored together as a ‘formula’ in the brain, and are less affected by brain injury such as a stroke.  Formulas are easier to say for many people with aphasia.

We all use formulas; they are a natural part of communication. But if you are limited to formulas, you will find it harder to talk about new situations that need less common or entirely new sentences.

Vitor’s research uses a computer program to calculate how much a person uses formulas. The future aim is to develop therapy that starts with these easier kinds of sentences, and then builds more and more flexibility in communicating.

If you are interested in taking part in research projects, please contact the clinic.

The drawing class

By Michael P Dean, on 11 July 2016

Ben attends the UCL Communication Clinic on Mondays.  He has been using voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) to produce written texts while working on his speech and language skills. He wrote the passage below about a recent activity:

Today has been much like every other day, although with one big difference.

Today , I went to see what the drawing class is like. I was very excited. Especially as I have now got only my left hand to draw with, and so I will have to get used to it. Before I went, I thought, ” Oh no, this could be fun, or tragic!”

The place is called Midnight Gallery and is located in Balham. There were a few other people there, so that was quite good. However, I was only one there with a Stroke, which felt a bit weird. I will be honest and say that I wasn’t the best I have been. However, it was quite good using my left hand. I will say that all in all, it was a good time. It was weird to be using my left hand as opposed to my right, because up until now I had always been a right handed drawer. I also found it quite fun to try, and do it with my left hand, including oil paints which is something I’ve never done with my left hand before. I quickly gave up and instead used pencils to draw. However, if I do go again, which I believe I will, I shall start on drawing and leave the oil painting for another time. With one hand it is not that fun. It will be cool to see how much I have changed over the next few weeks.

Spring newsletter

By Michael P Dean, on 23 March 2016

Hot on the heels of our Winter newsletter comes one for Spring.  It contains contributions from people with acquired communication difficulties who attend the clinic, as well as an account of the presentations given by two service users at the recent Giving Voice Society ‘European Day of Speech and Language Therapy’ event. This was was a great success. You can download a copy by clicking on this link: Spring newsletter. cover graphic for blog