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Growing up, we used pictures and words like these when learning to read and write. That was then and this is now!   

NOW it is time for adults with aphasia to be treated like adults, not learning to talk again, but reconnecting reading, writing and more importantly, speaking skills using smart, adult materials and tools.  

People recovering from aphasia deserve, and should demand, an adult focus on:   verbs not nouns; sentences not words; concepts not imitation; freedom not dependence; comprehensive, individualized programs not a list of apps; and a focus on cognition and independent thought not imitation.
All those in favor say 'AYE' by liking  on our  Facebook page.

If you want change, contact us. 

How to achieve your goals 




Our experts can assist your new efforts to speak again.   Contact us.     


Bibliography:  Goal setting for PWA 


Editor's Note:   


We have compiled recent articles/presentations on the topic of goal setting, specifically patient--centered goals. 



1. How to Set Goals When You Have Aphasia - An Insider's Perspective, a presentation by Paul E. Berger & Stephanie Mensh

2. Deborah Hersh, Linda Worrall, Tami Howe, Sue Sherratt & Bronwyn Davidson,   SMARTER goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation,  Aphasiology, Volume 26, Issue 2, 2012      


4. Irene Torres, Make It Work: Write Targeted Treatment Goals - Use these tricks to set goals that your client can hit-and that you can measure, The ASHA Leader, November 2013, Vol. 18, 26-27  (NOTE: This article discusses clinician-focused goal setting.)

Editor's Select News on Aphasia


Editor's Note: 

Here are some current articles on aphasia  and related disorders:    


Aphasia Advocate Kelley Stadler from NC dies
Our condolences go out to her family and friends.  She was a great role model for aphasia recovery.

When can I return to work? 

The Wernicke conundrum and the anatomy of language comprehension in primary progressive aphasia

Community Aphasia Group, Watertown, MA

Editor's Note: 


The Community Aphasia Group of Watertown, MA  is open to all individuals with aphasia and other communication difficulties that are looking to practice conversation skills in a safe and natural setting.     


We encourage multi-modal communication and use of strategies during interactions that include current events, debates, music trivia, relaxation/ meditation and other areas of interest!  


We meet weekly in the Community Rehab Care clinic and aim for a monthly outing into the community as well. 


For further information:  


Contact person:  Peter Schmidt, MS, CF, SLP & Amy Karas, MS, CCC/SLP
Contact phone: 617-744-8300 
Location: Community Rehab Care, 51 Water Street, Suite 205, Watertown, MA 02472 
Schedule:  Every Thursday 11-12:30
Cost: $25/ week
Voices of Hope for Aphasia,
St. Petersburg, FL   


Photo of the Month 


Great advice from Bill's gym.  





Trail blaze new goals for your aphasia recovery. Go where you've not gone before in your aphasia treatment and practice activities
June 29,  2015
June 2015 - Setting goals in aphasia treatment and recovery
This is Sharon Rennhack, the chief editor for the aphasiatoolbox newsletter.

Last month we discussed the need for being aggressive with your treatment;  this month we discuss setting goals. 


When I had my stroke in October 2010, it caused my speech and writing to be severely impaired and my memory to be foggy.   The first thing that Bill Connors asked when we started working together was, "Sharon, what are your goals for your recovery?" Surprisingly, my previous SLP never asked me that question. 


His question gave me pause; because I was a researcher and writer before my stroke, I knew that I wanted my words back. Click here to read what goals I set for myself. 


In this issue, using the results of our  June 15 survey - "Goal Setting in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery" we will focus on setting recovery goals. 

-  We review the results of the  survey;

- We include information on defining your goals and the process of goal setting;

- In his video, Master Clinician Bill Connors offers his take on  the  results of the survey and discusses several key points related to aphasia treatment and recovery.

Contact us  at .

Sharon Rennhack
Chief Editor 
SURVEY: Goal Setting in Aphasia Treatment and Recovery:  Tabulation and Results 


Editor's Note:


Seventy-seven people responded to our June 2015 survey. The topic of the survey was "Setting goals in aphasia treatment and recovery".   To see the detailed results click here.   Below you will find a quick summary and interpretation of the results. [ABBREVIATIONS: PWA=person with aphasia; PRA=person recovering from aphasia;   SLP=speech language pathologist; FM/C=family member/caregiver; TBI=traumatic brain injury; cognitive skills= attention; memory; problem solving; cognitive flexibility; executive skills]


Question 1: (Who are you?) - 43% of respondents were given assistance by FM/C or SLP in completing the survey; 39% were PWA; 20% were PRA; and 4% for people who have recovered from aphasia.   These numbers demonstrate the need to assist those PWA to find the tools and assistance to become PRA and people recovered from aphasia.


Questions 2 (Who should set goals in aphasia recovery treatment?)  and  3 ( Who was the person who set your goals for aphasia recovery treatment?) - while 90% of those responding thought that goals should be set by either the PWA or a collaboration of the PWA, FM/C and SLP, 27% reported that their goals were set by FM/C and SLP.  


Question 4: (What are your goals at this moment for your speech and language?) - while 20% of responders indicated they wanted to live the best they could with their aphasia and to be able to use assistance and support when communicating, 47% indicated they wanted to be able to have normal conversations and to be a productive member in society perhaps returning to work or school.   We see here a trend toward more aggressive goal setting by PWA and PRA.   See our May 2015 newsletter for advice about aggressive  recovery.  


Question 5: (Are you currently in therapy?) - Slightly more responders were not in therapy at this time than were in active treatment.   These results show a need for more of affordable, accessible, and effective treatment for aphasia recovery.


Questions 7: (What were your goals when you first started your speech therapy?)  and  8 (What are your goals now?) -  results showed that people with aphasia overtime become more interested in focusing on saying longer sentences and discourse, more normal conversational interaction, and improved cognitive skills . PWA seem to have a clearer appreciation of the difference between intact intelligence after stroke and the critical need to work on their cognitive skills.   Problems with cognitive skills must be addressed in a proficient aphasia recovery program. See our January 2015 newsletter for information on the role of cognition and metacognition in aphasia therapy and recovery.  


Questions 11: (Have your personal recovery goals changed over time?) and 12 (What do you need to reach your ultimate goal? )-  unfortunately, while we know that almost 50% of responders want to have a normal independent conversation and be a productive member of society, only 12% have in fact been able to become more aggressive with their goals in recovery. This appears to be true despite the fact that many are still working everyday to improve. This dilemma that PWA face is reflected in the number of responders who have lowered expectations, focus on adapting, and/or require assistance when attempting to communicate.  


Question 12:  Responses to question 12 show that people with aphasia clearly want more aggressive and smart treatment and practice as 75% of the responders chose answers that called for action, change and recovery.


Contact us if you want to know how to use smart tools, to work aggressively on your recovery at an affordable cost.

VIDEO:  Bill Connors discusses:
"Goal Setting in Aphasia Recovery"


Editor's Note:  


In this month's  video, Master Clinician Bill Connors  discusses goal setting in aphasia treatment and recovery.



Bill Connors discusses  
Bill Connors discusses "Goal Setting in Aphasia Recovery".

  Time: 3:52  

FEATURE:  What do you want to  achieve ? 


Editor's Note:   


When I had my stroke in October 2010, it caused my speech and writing to be severely impaired and my memory to be foggy.   The first thing that Bill Connors asked when we started working together was, "Sharon what are your goals for your recovery"  Surprisingly, my previous SLPs never asked me that question. 


His question  gave me pause;  because I was  a researcher and writer before my stroke, I knew that I wanted my words back.  


My response to Bill was that my goals were to reconnect my words.  my speech, my memory  and be able to read and write again - better than I did before! When I gave Bill my reply, he never batted an eyelash. We got to work using my starting goals as a guide.


What is a goal? 

A goal is something that you want to achieve over the long run.  For example, one of my long-term goal was to  be able to  read and write again.

What are objectives?  Objectives are specific targets within the general goal. Objectives are time-related to achieve a certain task.  This is where collaboration with an SLP, caregiver and the person with aphasia becomes important.  My short term goals, in collaboration with my SLP, initially was to  read a short article and create a  headline for the article. Later on,  I was able to  read longer articles and I working on  creating a  synopsis or summary of the article.

What does it take for you to succeed with your stated goals and objectives? Psychologists and researchers have identified ten key elements of goal setting that help with the successful attainment of objectives and ambitions.

Click here to read the rest of this feature article. 


Contact us if  you're ready to  ramp up your goals and outcomes! 
Aphasiatoolbox supports the Aphasia Recovery Connection 



The Aphasia Center of Innovative Treatment, Inc | | |
800 Vinial Street, B408
Pittsburgh, PA 15212