Following the announcement of Bruce Willis’s retirement from his acting career, our UCLL Director Carol Persad was recently featured as an expert source to provide insight into what aphasia is. WDIV Detroit’s Channel 4 News produced the 3-minute segment on the disorder, how aphasia can affect someone, and why people need to talk about it more.
“It’s really quite something that aphasia affects over 2 million people in the United States. And it’s actually more common than Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy combined and yet hardly anyone knows what it is,” Dr. Persad said.
Whenever a celebrity or public figure is recognized with a disorder or illness, it reminds us that conditions like aphasia or mental health challenges do not discriminate and can affect even people with all of the resources in the world. While most people were supportive of Willis online, comments and media coverage inadvertently demonstrates how much people don’t know about aphasia or the misconceptions that continue to persist around the communication disorder.
“What’s really important to understand is that aphasia is a loss of language. It’s not a loss of intellect and yet many people view that person with aphasia as being stupid or having an intellectual impairment and are treated very differently — and it is extremely frustrating,” Persad said.
Read the full story here: Channel 4 Local News
Click here to learn more about the University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP).
About the U-M Aphasia Program (UMAP) and the University Center for Language and Literacy (UCLL)
The University Center for Language and Literacy (UCLL) is committed to helping people of all ages find meaningful ways to communicate. UCLL is part of the Mary A. Rackham Institute (MARI) at the University of Michigan. MARI provides high-quality, individualized mental health, neuropsychological testing, and language and literacy services to the community through its service centers, including UCLL, University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF), and University Psychological Clinic.
UMAP is one of a few clinical service programs around the country to offer an intensive speech-language therapy session that combines individual, group, and computer/tech work, exemplifying the Life Participation Approach. We are the original ICAP and remain to be a model for other ICAPs – Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs. An ICAP designation means a program provides a level of care that sets it apart from other approaches to speech language therapy for aphasia therapy.