Relearning Language Through Photography

Thursday, January 02, 2014

More than five years ago, photographer Rachael Jablo developed chronic migraines. As a side effect of the medication she took to help treat those migraines, Jablo developed aphasia which caused her to lose her ability to remember language.

At first, she lost her ability to speak. Slowly, she was able to speak but could no longer remember certain words to identify simple objects or feelings. Eventually, she came up with the idea of using photography as a way to relearn language. In her new book, "My Days of Losing Words," Jablo displays the photographs that became her mnemonic devices. 

"I wanted there to be a progression from illness to health," Jablo says of her book. "This is the story of me getting better. And I wanted it to give hope to people."

Today Jablo joins The Takeaway to discuss how photography helped her to relearn language.

Rachael Jablo's photo called "Melting."
Rachael Jablo's photo called "Soup."


Rachael Jablo

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I was an instrument baby and the Doctor pulled me out by my head at birth. My neck x-rays look like I was in a horrible car accident. I get terrible headaches everyday and sometimes can't remember the simplest word. I did not know about aphasia, and hope that I can remember this word next time I go to the Doctor.

Jan. 02 2014 01:29 PM
Misha Noonan from Woodinville WA (20 mi NE of Seattle)

Wonderful piece on Aphasia and Migeraine.

I am a Migraine Expert ... tho NOT an MD, nor PhD.

I have studied Migraine for 20 years and developed manual techniques for "Turning Migraine OFF".

Far from RARE, "Transient Aphasia" is a regular component of Migrane. It is important to realize that all Migraines are NOT equal, and Not all Migraines have the headache componet. HeadAche is only 1 of a Whole Constelation of Possible Migraine Symptoms. The common impression .. or "hyphenation" of Migraine as a ;type of headache ... as in "Migraine-Headache" ... I find, leads to many Migrane Conditions going undiagnoase, therefore untreated, and symptome going misunderstood.

Seems to me that Migraine is an under utilized window into the Neurplogy of the Brain.

I LOVED HEARING this morning's interview with Ms Rachael Jablo.

Jan. 02 2014 01:16 PM

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