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Aphasia Sufferers Create Jewelry

 KODAK Digital Still CameraThe Adler Aphasia Centers, located in Maywood and West Orange, are busy  Mondays through Thursdays with many of their members and volunteers huddled around 70 square feet of workspace, handcrafting more than three dozen different styles of jewelry items, hostess sets, pens, styli for iPads and iPhones desk sets, gift boxes and more. This jewelry program, known as Something Special, is facilitated by licensed speech language pathologists who help members boost their communication skills.  They are almost all stroke survivors living with aphasia, a language disorder caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. They have difficulty communicating, but their intellect is not affected.

 Something Special, the center’s member-run jewelry and gift boutique engages roughly to 40 center members with aphasia who design and create the products while generating revenue to support the center’s programs. The hands-on training also offers important therapeutic benefits for people with communication deficits and physical disabilities resulting from stroke or brain trauma and helps them acquire new communication and motor skills.

Something Special will be displaying and selling its merchandise at Congregation Darchei Noam, located at 10-04 Alexander Ave., in Fair Lawn on Sunday, May 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. Prices will range from $10 to $100 and each item comes with the story of its artisan.

 All proceeds benefit the Adler Aphasia Center Scholarship Fund, which supports members with aphasia who cannot afford to pay the nominal tuition fee of $30 a day, which covers only one third of the center’s costs. Because there is no federal, state or insurance funding for ongoing aphasia services, the center relies on the generosity of its donors to offer the critical support that stroke and brain injury survivors need and deserve.

 For information about the May 4 event, contact Congregation Darchei Noam at 201-773-4080. For more information about the Adler Aphasia Center’s programs and services in Maywood or West Orange or the aphasia support group in Bridgewater, visit www.adleraphasiacenter.org or call 201-368-8585.


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