Foreign Accent Syndrome – observe and report

It’s with great passion that I seek to assemble news and reports on Foreign Accent Syndrome. Since I first acquired it in May 2009, I have been astounded at how little information there is on this medical condition. Because it is an extremely rare condition (with between 50-100 cases worldwide — ever); it is even harder to find information about FAS. It is even MORE difficult to find “quality” reporting on it. So when I find it, I want to share it!  Perhaps those who come along behind me with a brand new occurrence of FAS, will have somewhere to obtain real, useful information amongst all the cynical, critical and downright nasty comments that some have put out.

A PERSONAL BLOG –Even though I had read this blog post some time ago, I believe that it is so nicely done that I thought I’d share it here. Notice how the author, Arthur Greenblatt, does such a nice job of incorporating the news of the day with an event in his own personal life: 1) the facts are clearly stated. 2) Although there is an outside article as an anchor to his post, he has cited the source, date, publication and author 3) The source he used presents a lot of foundational information on Foreign Accent Syndrome.

I will give the link to his personal blog post here >>> Arthur’s Days Blog post on FAS

A VIDEO ==Above is a video of Ms. Robin Jenks Vanderlip describing the challenges in her life and speech after suffering a head injuryin 2007 that  resulted in what doctors call Foreign Accent Syndrome. Vanderlip, a Pennsylvania native, speaks with what sounds like a Russian accent. (this comes from the same Washington Post article cited below).  SEE how much actually watching and hearing for yourself adds to the authenticity of the post?!

AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE –The Article, Fairfax Woman Developed Russian Accent After Head Injury, By Brigid Schulte. Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, May 30, 2010 is excellent at presenting facts in an interesting personal approach without sensationalism. Here is why I believe it is A+ Article:

A) The History of Foreign Accent Syndrome

B) Individual Cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome

C) Some noticeable distinctive features of the pronunciations and differences with Foreign Accent Syndrome

D) Names, at least one sufferer and one researcher/doctor plus many other examples of cases where names are not given, but features are.

E) The PERSONAL experience of sufferer being further harmed by public pundits statements and the added poor public opinion that such generates.

All of these together, make me wish to extend a “heroin of journalism for the sake of the sufferer” award to Ms. Schulte. This is one example of effective, well done journalism that I wish to continue to broadcast!

Since 2009 I have been amassing numerous articles and tried to contact fellow FAS sufferers. There is now a group of us who are in contact from around the world who are there to support one another in the unique challenges that arise with speaking all the time in a foreign accented voice with which we were neither born nor able to change back.

Perhaps Mr. Schulte or some other journalist of such skill will take another look at the newer cases and any new research being done with this very rare condition that seems to be less rare now as more and more cases are emerging. The first step toward fighting ignorance is GOOD reporting. Plus, there is something that makes it all the more effective when reporting about Foreign Accent Syndrome is done to show the personal side of the story!

 

What do you think about this post?  Your opinion matters! What you think and ask can help us all make new discoveries, so please feel free to add a comment or question below. Thanks.

Some Recent News FAS videos

One of the most important things that we who suffer from Foreign Accent Syndrome wish to do is to find out not only why we are having the problems that we do, but also to help grow the collective understanding of not only of the disorder but most especially the PEOPLE who are currently suffering, their care, their care-givers and loved ones and those who have yet to step into those positions.

Therefore, I am very happy to add to my blog these links to these news stories which were done by JAX TV station in Florida. It is exciting to see some media attention being given to the disorder. Let some people who believe that this is not a “real” problem become less ignorant by getting a little exposure and also help those who are currently dealing with similar stories to take heart.

Here are recent videoes done with fellow Foreign Accent Syndrome friends of mine done by local Florida news TV stations.

This first one is a longer raw interview with Dr. Jack Ryalls from University of Central Florida. He is well known for his expertise in this field of study of the very rare disorder. So it is especially good to hear his insights in this more lengthy piece on what is involved in Foreign Accent Syndrome from his perspective.
Interview with Dr. Jack Ryalls Fox30

Pattie Yakaboski,
Pattie: Finding Her Voice

Video of Paula Westberry
Paula on JAX 2011.11

Two of My Foreign Accent Syndrome Sisters

This morning I received word on my Facebook wall that the NBC Today show

Kay Russell and Sarah Colwill

had a story about Foreign Accent Syndrome on it. This reminded this acquaintance of me and he told me about the broadcast as well as sent a “God Bless You”. I love that! He remembers that I have had it since May 12, 2009 after a major migraine makes my midwest farmer’s daughter accent turn into Dutch/Swedish/German “Eastern European” sounding speech. I just praise God I can still sing regularly.

I regularly monitor the topic Foreign Accent Syndrome on the internet and web trying to get latest scientific news. That’s how I found out about Sarah Colwill last Spring. I reached out to her on FaceBook and am happy to have another FAS friend.

So I went to NBC Today online and there I found this video article about my British friend Sarah Colwill and Kay Russell who both have Foreign Accent Syndrome. We have been Facebook talking since Sarah came down with it also as a result of migraine back in the spring of this year.

It turns out that Kay Russell lives only about an hour away from Sarah so they got to meet each other with all the excitement that I had in meeting Fisher Fran last year. To find someone else who suffers from the same rare malady helps a person feel less alone. Even if there isn’t a cure. There is just something blessed about being able to share in the depth of understanding that comes from such a thing.

I am grateful to the NBC Today show for doing the story to help bring more awareness to the fact that Foreign Accent Syndrome does exist and that it does so greatly impact peoples lives. Yet, even when science doesn’t have the answers to the “why” or “what do we do about it” questions, people can carry on with hope. That’s a message that everyone needs to hear!

Well, here is the embedded link to watch the story, enjoy. FAS Women Bond on Today Show

And if you would be kind enough to comment to NBC for doing the story or here, it would be an encouragement.