Aphasia is frustrating, and it is a frustration that may not have a clear end-point. Living with aphasia takes a lot of courage and energy, and some people find that will to keep working on language acquisition or retention through humor.
There have been studies about the use of humor in aphasia therapy featured by NIH or in the Journal of Neurolinguistics. Recent Ask the Expert speaker, Nina Simmons-Mackie, has several papers and a book about using laughter to get through aphasia.
Some of the funniest moments happen during the monthly Aphasia Cafe, our free conversation group, when people tell stories around people who “get it.” We once even made it the topic of an Aphasia Cafe, and people brought their best stories of mixed up words and creative communication.
But our favorite humor story happens every year in June. The Cowboy Aphasia Camp, an intensive program out of Oklahoma State University, sends an Aphasia Awareness Month donation of money collected through their swear jar. We wrote last year about their humorous donation in our newsletter.
We love that they take something that is not funny at all, that often causes tears of frustration, and turn it into something they laugh at. Getting through aphasia takes grace and humor. You may never laugh with aphasia, but we hope that you find times to laugh at aphasia when it is getting you down.