Anna Teal

On the record

With the news of Bruce Willis's diagnosis of Aphasia, many people are just learning what the condition is. Anna and Ryan Teal know all too well as they live with it every day. Ryan had a massive stroke at the age of 34, which left him with aphasia and apraxia.

Throughout his recovery, the repetitive practice of reading aloud seemed to be a tried-and-true form of speech therapy practice with promising results. The husband-and-wife team created the book series Aphasia Readers to provide accessible and affordable supplementary speech practice tools for adults in the aphasia community. Book #1 was released in the fall of 2021 and Book #2 is slated for release in June 2022 which is Aphasia Awareness Month.

Anna and Ryan developed the books because they had first-hand experience with the struggles of aphasia recovery. The only books available when Ryan was recovering to practice on a simple level were children’s books. As an adult, reading these types of books felt a little demeaning. Although they had many good laughs reading aloud about “a trip to grandma’s house,” they quickly realized a need for simple, short readers with adult-themed content to support those in the aphasia community.

After more than a year in the making and extensive collaboration with the renowned Mary A. Rackham Institute University Center for Language and Literacy and input from top neurological teams, they finally wrote their first book of Aphasia Readers for adults. Their ultimate hope is to provide accessible and affordable supplementary speech practice tools for others in the aphasia community to help pave the way for a successful recovery.

Aphasia Readers is a privately funded project by Ryan and Anna. Donations are appreciated to help us publish future books to help those in our community practice with confidence and regain their speech. A portion of the proceeds from each book set goes back into supporting aphasia awareness.

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