These days I find myself hunting for a word and not finding it - especially when trying to do the Guardian quick crossword which used to take me 10 minutes. I tell myself it is because words change in meaning and definitions are stretched - but is it a sign that I’m less connected? And do I remember what I read?
So I was a little apprehensive about volunteering to take up Hanh’s invitation to participate in her research project. This aims to find out how knowing the topic covered before reading a paragraph affects the performance of readers with and without aphasia. Did I really want to risk performing badly in the tests? What would that do to my confidence?
But spurred on by memories of a close relation who suffered from aphasia and the thought that the aim was to help develop more suitable reading materials for people with aphasia, I signed up.
As it turned out I had a very entertaining afternoon. The invitation explained that I would be asked to read 3 groups of short passages and then answer questions about what I had read. I chose to do all 3 in a single visit lasting 2 hours but there was an option to split the sessions between 2 or 3 visits. The 3 reading sessions were broken up with other memory tests. It may sound formidable but in practice the material had been chosen to be very interesting and I had a really good laugh at some of the passages. I can’t share them with you as that would spoil the test so you’ll have to go and read them for yourself!
I emerged from the session still laughing and feeling very cheerful. The only downside was that I might have to wait a long time to get feedback as Hanh needs 30 volunteers and so far she has only 7.
Please help by clicking on “opportunities”, then typing “aphasia” into the search box, finding the study on the list (it is the most recent) and signing up.