Thursday, September 12, 2019

An inspiring personal testimony about aphasia post stroke

François Grosjean, Professor Emeritus at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, shares a recent interview he undertook with a multilingual aphasic stroke survivor

My interest in aphasia - language and speech impairment due to brain damage most often resulting from a stroke - started many years ago when I was writing my first book on bilingualism, Life with two languages: An introduction to bilingualism. I had a whole section on multilingual aphasic patients and related the many fascinating recovery patterns that have been reported in the literature.

I then collaborated with the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland for which my laboratory did a number of projects for their aphasia unit (see here for a list of publications). The most notable project concerned a battery of on-line perception and comprehension tests for aphasic patients.

When I started a blog for Psychology Today a number of years ago, it was only normal that I talk about aphasia in bi- and multilingual patients. A few weeks ago, a colleague in Singapore, Dr. Valerie Lim, told me that she had a multilingual aphasic patient who was willing to be interviewed for my blog. I was thrilled as a personal testimony can be of interest to others recovering from aphasia, their family members and friends, and the general public. It can also be motivating for the person herself who is struggling to recuperate her language(s).

The interview, for which I have already received wonderful feedback ("an amazing and inspiring story", "this interview is fascinating", etc.) can be found here.

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