Thomas “TC” Maslin easily reads to himself the local newspaper or latest issue of the Economist.

Reading aloud a simple children’s book is another story.

“Five little ducks went out one day. Over the hills and far away. The woman duck said quack, quack, quack,” he says.

Read it again, his instructor prompts. “The mother duck said quack, quack, quack,” he reads this time.

TC’s wife, Abby, beams. “Your quacking sound is awesome!”

He reads another sentence with no mistakes. “Oh my goodness,” he exclaims, laughing.

TC’s aphasia — his struggle to speak — resulted from a brutal assault on Capitol Hill last August. His intellect is largely intact. But his brain labors to command his mouth to say what he wants to say.

The gray beyond: A family copes after tragedy – The Washington Post.