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After Words Previous Broadcasts

KQED World: Sat, Oct 4, 2014 -- 2:00 PM

After Words movingly illuminates the struggle of individuals with aphasia, an acquired communication disorder. Often the result of stroke, traumatic brain injury, or neurological disease, aphasia affects an individual's ability to speak. It is often mistaken for a disorder of intelligence or personality. Due to this misunderstanding, there is often fear, exclusion, or stigma associated with aphasia. The National Aphasia Association estimates that over one million Americans are affected by aphasia which can take many forms. The film features famed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, speech and language pathologists, members of the National Aphasia Association, and performers such as Bobby McFerrin, Julie Harris, and Jan Curtis, whose lives have been touched by aphasia. After Words portrays individuals engaged in the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia. Mary was an elementary school principal for just three months when she became aphasic. She has now returned to work part-time with the goal of eventually returning to her previous position. Grant, age 48, suffered a stroke when he was fourteen. Unable to speak for several years, he slowly regained his communication skills, completed college and is now a husband, father, and successful businessman. Brenna, who suffered a stroke at the age of 23, was a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry. She is now pursuing a career to help others on the road to recovery. The film sheds needed light on this little known disorder. Through portraits of individuals living successfully with aphasia, After Words is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

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