Each fall, Dr. Adam Jacks, UNC-CH, teaches a graduate course on neurological conditions affecting speech production and invites guests with different conditions to help the class learn more about the experiences of real people. Adriane Terrell was the guest lecturer this year and prior to her talk, she met with a small group of graduate students to get to know them, and to receive a speech evaluation and talk to them about her communication needs.
Adriane began her presentation by talking about some of the early communication difficulties she noted in her mother. She pointed out to the attendees (some from other allied health disciplines) that she had been a lot like them, attending college and earning her degree in Social Work and landing a position with the UNC School of Public Health. It wasn't until she began having difficulties with her work performance in 2013 that she was re-evaluated by her neurologist and found to have the symptoms of Huntington's Disease. Adriane spoke of retaining her communication skills through singing in the church choir, participating in a Women's Bible Study group and her HD advocacy work including reaching out to others through a FaceBook Huntington's Disease group.
The students asked several questions on a wide range of topics including how Adriane deals (or will deal) with stares/glares when out in public. Dr. Jacks mentioned that he serves on an Aphasia board and offered to share their "Info Card" with the HD community.
Thank you to Adriane Terrell and to Dr. Adam Jacks and his Speech Pathology students for an excellent learning experience.