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From the Introduction:
Sudden and unexpected loss of communication is a terrifying, dehumanizing experience that tears away at the essence of life itself.
For decades, speech and language pathologists have sought to better understand it. The term aphasia is used to generally describe a condition whereby speech and language skills are partially or totally lost. Aphasia is the result of damage to or disturbance of those areas in the brain responsible for speech and language functions.
A tremendous variety of specific impairments can occur to plague the individual with aphasia. Impairments of comprehension, reading disturbances, writing difficulties, and confusion with numerical
processes can accompany oral language problems such as word loss, loss of sentence structure, and confusion in utilizing word
forms. . .
To understand aphasia at this level alone is to miss the full nature of this terribly debilitating condition. For the effect that aphasia has on the person who must bear its consequences is a profound area of interest that is not always understood and. . . seldom considered. Aphasia, My
World Alone has been written to help open this often closed door. . .
Helen Wulf has put down on paper a depth of feeling, thought, and analysis concerning the aphasic experience that personalizes the disorder in a gripping, readable manner. She delves so deeply into
her aphasia that the reader is actually drawn up into the agony and frustration that is the daily burden of the aphasic individual.
Speech pathologists who actively work with aphasic patients will immediately recognize the value of Helen Wulf's analysis of her aphasia. Her reactions to various forms of treatment will also be beneficial, especially to those who are allowing certain aphasics to determine which speech and language deficits are most debilitating and, consequently, which area should be emphasized in the initial stages of treatment.
Family and friends of the aphasic will be warmly introduced to those inner thoughts so long hidden from their ears. . . This book. . . should be extremely useful in family counseling. . . As many speech pathologists have indicated, the need for "family treatment" is immediate, real, and often of critical importance. . .
As the field of aphasia rehabilitation continues its growth ... our ability to help the aphasic and his family will expand. It is felt that in its small way, this book will help make aphasia less of a world alone.
A new chapter has been added to this revised edition in which Helen Wulf assesses her feelings and the progress she has made six to eight years post-stroke.