On January 8, 2011, Americans were stunned to hear of the assassination attempt on Senator Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. As she recovered, Giffords struggled to learn how to speak. She was diagnosed with aphasia, which is an acquired communication disorder. Aphasia does not impair a person’s intelligence, but it does impede the ability to process language, to speak, and to understand another person’s speech.