The Adler Aphasia Centerprovides long-term rehabilitation care, treatment and therapy for individuals with severe acquired speech and language aphasia. Aphasia is a general language dysfunction caused by damage to the language centers of the brain. Hadassah Academic College is home to Israel's only such rehabilitation center for severe aphasia. The center is also the first international branch of the Adler Aphasia Center in New Jersey.
Understanding Aphasia and Severe Language Disorders
Trauma through accident or illness, such as stroke, accidents, brain tumors and other maladies, can result in damage to the speech and language processing centers of the brain. Individuals who suffer such trauma may develop impaired and limited speech, severe difficulties in language comprehension and disability with higher order language tasks such as reading and writing. Without rehabilitative therapy, victims of aphasia can become trapped in their own minds, unable to communicate their thoughts and needs with the world around them and often unable to make sense of what others are trying to communicate to them.
The Adler Rehabilitation Model
The Adler Center provides long term rehabilitative care for people with severe acquired aphasia. The Center serves individuals beginning six months from the time of their initial injury. The Center's care model is based on a social approach to aphasia treatment which complements and works together with more traditional treatment methods. While traditional approaches focus on the rehabilitation of the linguistic injury itself, the social care approach also focuses on promoting social communication between the patient, his care givers, and people in the patient's environment. The social model prioritizes essential real world communication skills and helps patients more easily reintegrate into their former lives. By bringing patients' friends and family members into the treatment paradigm, the social care approach also serves as a framework for guidance and support for both patients and their families.
In addition to direct patient therapy, other activities at the Adler Aphasia Center include:
- Conversation groups
- Guidance and support groups for family members
- Individual intervention that focuses on communicative skills and their application to everyday life activities
- Art workshops
- Lectures for the general public
- Training and observation opportunities for Hadassah College students
The Center also undertakes a wide range of public events throughout the year.
The Adler Center is an integral part of the College's Department of Communication Disorders, and is staffed by skilled clinicians and academics. The Center also benefits from the assistance of volunteers, many of whom are student trainees.