Gold Coast residents with aphasia are set to benefit from a new social group set up byGriffith University Speech Pathology students.

Aphasia is a language difficulty that may occur after stroke or other damage to the brain.People with aphasia may have problems with speaking, understanding, reading andwriting.

The social group will meet monthly and bring people together to allow them tocommunicate in a safe and supportive environment.

“The aim is for people with aphasia to meet others in a similar situation, share stories andexperiences, and participate in activities to help their communication skills,” says lecturerin speech pathology Dr. Samantha Siyambalapitiya.

Inaugural meeting on May 17

Bruce Rutledge, from Ashmore, experienced a stroke one year ago and will attend theinaugural social group meeting on Saturday 17 May.

According to Bruce, people with aphasia can struggle with speaking as they once did andhave difficulty putting sentences together and remembering words.

“One of the big problems with having had a stroke is that not too many people understandexactly what has happened and what those people have to go through to try and fix thatproblem. Talking as we once did with friends is no longer fun as we feel totally lost,” hesays.

“With the Aphasia Social Group we are hoping that we can get folk to enjoy each other’scompany. Getting out of the home with new-found friends and helpers from ourUniversity will be a new start for us.”

The first meeting will be held on 17 May, from 10am until 12 midday.The first meeting will be a chance for new members to socialise and get to know one
another. Anyone with aphasia, along with their family and friends, are welcome to attend.

Meetings will be held in the meeting room of the Southport Library, corner Lawson andGarden Streets, Southport. The group will meet on the third Saturday of every month.

For more information, please email [email protected]