Glenview students helps patients with Aphasia
Lincolnshire 11/29/12 Attea Middle School eighth grader Neda Abbaszadeh (right) Speech Language Pathologist Mary Witte have started an Aphasia Communication Group. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:12AM
GLENVIEW — An eighth-grade student at Attea Middle School, Neda Abbaszadeh wanted to do something rewarding for her school and community.
She visited Abington of Glenview, a senior care center in Glenview, where she met people with aphasia — a language impairment caused by brain injury or stroke.
“I never heard of aphasia before so I started the Aphasia Communication Group,” said Abbaszadeh, Mary Witte, a speech-language pathologist at Attea, helped her start the group for students and adults with the problem.
Abbaszadeh is still recruiting club members, but she has a good understanding of what should be accomplished. “I want students to learn how good it feels to help others,” she said.
“My parents really like to help in fundraisers like for Toys for Tots and Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook,” she added.
Club members will meet to have conversations, share opinions and develop communication skills, said Witte, also attending the sessions.
“I think it will be beneficial for students to learn from adults who have aphasia and work on their empathy skills and different ways to communicate,” said Witte, a Chicago resident.
“Some people with aphasia communicate with computers, notebooks and pictures. They also use their eyes, gestures and facial expressions to communicate.”
Brett Clark, spokesman for Glenview School District 34, said information about the goodwill club was sent to staff and parents.
“We’re hoping these people may know someone with aphasia and be supportive,” he said.
Clark also said the Aphasia Communication Group exemplified how students participate in the local Character Counts program that encourages individuals, families and organizations to address community concerns.
“From sending holiday cards to soldiers overseas to sending our bands and orchestras to senior centers, we want our students to be part of the community,” he said.
Aphasia Communication Group will meet on two Wednesdays each month from 3:10 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Attea Middle School, 2500 Chestnut Ave., Glenview.