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Davis Medical Center to host communication group

ELKINS — Davis Medical Center’s Speech and Swallowing Department have created a social communication group for people with aphasia, dysarthria or other communication deficits related to stroke or neurological disorders.

“Now We’re Talking,” hosted by speech-language pathologists, Kayla Doerr and Erin Browning, will be held from 3-4 p.m. Thursday at the Davis Memorial Hospital Cafeteria Overflow.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language.

It affects a person’s ability to express their wants, needs and ideas. It may also affect understanding at times. People with aphasia often experience social isolation because of an inability to effectively communicate with those around them.

Aphasia most often results from a stroke or other insult to the language areas of the brain. Between 25 and 40 percent of people who survive a stroke acquire aphasia and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that approximately 1 million people or one in 250 in the U.S. today are living with aphasia.

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder that can range from mild to severe. Persons use many muscles to talk. These include muscles in the face, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as muscles for breathing. It is harder to talk when these muscles are weak.

Dysarthria happens when you have weak muscles due to brain damage. People who have dysarthria may have speech that sounds slurred, soft, or choppy. (ASHA) It is possible for a person to have both aphasia and dysarthria.

Davis Medical Center’s speech-language pathologists identified a need for a social and supportive group for individuals with aphasia and dysarthria in the community. To meet this need, they decided to launch the first social group at DMC.

The group’s primary purpose is to provide a safe, positive and natural atmosphere for these individuals to interact with one another.

The group will also provide education on topics related to communication skills. Caregivers are welcome during the last 10 minutes of the group for any questions.

The meeting will offer complimentary refreshments, including light refreshments.

Those planning to attend may RSVP to Michele Whittaker at 304-637-3520, option 2.

Additional information about aphasia and dysarthria is available online agt www.asha.org, www.aphasia.org and also at www.nidcd.nih.gov.

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