TEDxPeachtree 2012 presenter Sucheta Kamath, founder of Cerebral Matters, always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When she discovered speech language pathology while working through her clinical rotations in medical school, she knew this was how she could help. Her revelation occurred when she met a 22-year-old woman who had a stroke during childbirth and developed Aphasia as a result, thereby losing her ability to communicate. The entire family showed up to the clinic with her and when Kamath started asking her questions, the family members would answer for the patient, not even giving her a chance to try to communicate. The concern for Kamath and staff was that if the patient did not attempt to answer, she would be unable to communicate with her baby. The woman’s mother-in-law told Kamath that the family could speak for her, so she did not need to re-learn how to speak for herself.
Kamath realized she could help those who were unable to communicate to become independent and find their voice.
She became a Speech Language Pathologist and a Linguist with specialized training in Neurogenic Communication disorders and is highly specialized in retraining those whose brains are sufficiently equipped with a keen intellectual ability but have a diagnosed or an unidentified Executive Dysfunction, which causes internal disorganization of thoughts, ideas and implementation. She teaches people “how to learn to think, and how to think to learn.”
“People suffering from Executive Function Disorders are often viewed as lazy and underachieving, when they may just be misunderstood,” says Kamath. “I am here to represent the underdog, and to help them live up to their full potential.”
Coming to the United States from India as a young adult, Kamath knew what it felt like to be an outsider: to not understand the culture, the traditions, or even the slang. Learning how to adapt to her new world made her think differently, and this is exactly what she aims to teach her Executive Function Disorder patients. They must learn how to see the world around them differently and learn how to adapt and think differently so that they can then change their behavior.
Kamath still loves to go new places. “To transcend is to travel,” Kamath says, having just returned from a trip to Paris. “It changes how we see the world, and makes us engaged and active.”
“I personally have a belief-minded life. Connecting action to intention is of the utmost importance. Transcending is not something you do because there is a need, but something to be,” giving us something to ponder until we hear her speak on November 2.