How Can MnCAN Conversation Groups Help?

The overall focus of  MnCAN aphasia programs is to encourage and support people with aphasia by teaching strategies to increase communication effectiveness. At the same time, people with aphasia can work on their personal life goals with support.

MnCAN aphasia conversation groups provide much needed social support and access to community involvement for people with aphasia and their families.  Services are available for as long as participants need or want them.

What Are the Guiding Principles of the Groups?

IMG_2348MnCAN’s programs are based on three guiding principles. The first principle involves a shift from a medical to a social model with a focus on natural interaction with others.

The second principle emphasizes the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA Project Group, 2009) where goals are based on getting back to previous life activities with support as needed.

The use of  supported conversation strategies (Kagan, Black, Duchan, Simmons-Mackie, Square, 2001) is the third principle.  The person with aphasia is encouraged to use “whatever works” to aid communication (a combination of speech, drawing, writing, gesturing, use of technology) and comprehension.

What Do We Do in the Groups?

We meet weekly for 90 minutes.  Conversations are about everything “normal” (weather, current events,  favorite trips, memories, politics, the news in everyone’s life, frustrations, sadnesses, joys and personal goals) and are facilitated by speech language pathologists with the support of trained volunteers and/or graduate students in speech-language pathology.  Close friendships develop, everyone supports each other and ultimately there is a lot of laughter.

groupWhat Else Should You Know?

• Fall and Winter sessions meet for 12 weeks.  Summer session meets for 8 weeks.

• Tuition is due with registration.  Financial support is available.

• Space is limited for the conversation groups to allow for lots of communication practice in a small group environment.

Aphasia Conversation
Groups Locations

Burnsville Location

Fairview Ridges Education Center
152 Cobblestone Lane
Burnsville, MN 55337
Speech  Language Pathologist:
Sarah Helm, MA/CCC-SLP

Lester Prairie Location

St Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
124 Maple St. N.
Lester Prairie, MN 55354
Speech Language Pathologists:
Krista Petersen MA/CCC-SLP;
Leah Seifert MS/CCC-SLP

Minneapolis Location

Walker Methodist Place
3701 Bryant Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Speech Language Pathologist:
Molly Nicolai, MA/CCC-SLP, CBIS

Rochester Location

Rochester Area Foundation Building
12 Elton Hills Drive NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Speech Language Pathologist:
Jack Thomas, MS/CCC-SLP

St Paul Locations

Lyngblomsten Care Facility
1415 Almond Ave.
St Paul, MN 55108
Speech Language Pathologist:
Mary Strom, MA/CCC-SLP

Presbyterian Homes and Services:Langton Place
1910 W. County Road D
Roseville, MN 55112

Speech Language Pathologist:
Caroline Koziol, MS/CFY-SLP

Waconia Location

Good Samaritan Society, Westview Acres
333 W. 5th St.
Waconia, MN 55387
Speech Language Pathologist:
Heather Vangerud, MA/CCC-SLP

Wayzata Locations

Hillcrest of Wayzata Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
15409 Wayzata Blvd.
Wayzata, MN 55391
Speech Language Pathologist:
Sheen Chiou, PhD/CCC-SLP

Meridian Manor
163 Wayzata Blvd. West
Wayzata, MN 55391
Speech Language Pathologist:
Carly Cauley, MA/CCC-SLP