June is National Aphasia Month and an opportunity to learn more about this disorder that affects the ability to speak, read, write and listen.
Published Jun 26, 2019
Quote“Since so much of our identity is constructed through our social relationships, which rely so heavily on language, aphasia can obliterate that feeling of belonging”― Debra Meyerson, Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke
“Since so much of our identity is constructed through our social relationships, which rely so heavily on language, aphasia can obliterate that feeling of belonging”
― Debra Meyerson, Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke
The experience of aphasia is often described as imprisonment, loss of self, loneliness and a lack of presence in daily life. June is National Aphasia Month and an opportunity to learn more about this disorder that affects the ability to speak, read, write and listen.
Aphasia is a communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to communicate and understand others. Aphasia may also make it difficult to read, write, gesture or use numbers. However, aphasia does not affect a person’s intelligence. Someone with aphasia still has thoughts and ideas, however, it is difficult to communicate these through language. Head injury, infection, brain tumors or other neurological conditions can cause aphasia. However, the most common cause is stroke.
The National Aphasia Association conducted a survey on aphasia awareness in 2016. The survey found 84.5% of people have never heard of aphasia and 34.7% either have aphasia or know someone that does. Only 8.8 % of people surveyed have heard of aphasia and can identify it as a language disorder
The types of aphasia depend on what language areas in the brain have been damaged.
This type affects the temporal lobe of the brain and characteristics include:
Example: “You know that sludder that you take to before and webster on together maybe.”
This is the most common type of aphasia and primarily affects the brain’s frontal lobe. Characteristics include:
Example: “Glasses aides table” for “My glasses and hearing aides are on the table.”
Global aphasia occurs with extensive damage to different language areas in the brain. Characteristics may include:
The brain has a tremendous ability to recover, therefore, people with aphasia often see dramatic improvements within the first few months. In fact, language improvements may occur even after long periods of time. However, many people have some difficulty after the recovery period. The goal of aphasia therapy is to use remaining language abilities to improve the ability to communicate. Learning new ways of communicating, such as gestures, pictographs and the use of electronic devices can significantly improve quality of life.
New types of speech-language therapies are being researched in both recent and chronic aphasia to identify new methods of helping with improving word retrieval and other aspects of speech. One of these methods is activities stimulating the mental representation of sounds, words and sentences for easier access and retrieval. Other research includes:
In recognition of Aphasia Awareness Month, take time to step up your ability to simplify your language, encourage communication and make a difference. Be sure to check out the National Aphasia Association’s website for tips and tools to help with communication and much more. The website is also a great resource for people with aphasia, as well as, family, friends and caregivers.
American Stroke Association Aphasia Education
American Stroke Association: Aphasia and Stroke
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X