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See also our section on Communication or other disability specific pages on language disorders, brain injury, alexia-disorder of reading, agraphia-disorder of writing, apraxia-disorder of skilled movements or stroke.
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Quick link to the information of your choice on Aphasia:
What is Aphasia?
- Impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words as well as reading and writing.
- Language disorder resulting from damage to portions of the brain (For most people these are on the left side or left hemisphere of the brain) responsible for language.
- Often the result of a stroke or head injury, but may occur in the case of a brain tumor.
- Sometimes occurs with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech.
Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain.
Damage to the temporal lobe may result in a fluent aphasia
Damage to extensive portions of the language areas of the brain.
Severe communication difficulties
What are the causes of Aphasia?
- Trauma/accident to the brain -from factory, farm, or power tool accidents or from motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, war and terrorist attacks.
- Stroke, when blood is unable to reach a part of the brain.
- Brain Tumors
What are the characteristics of Aphasia?
- Impairment of the ability to use, express or understand or comprehend words or language as well as reading or writing.
What are the statistics regarding Aphasia?
- Anyone, men and women equally, most are affected in their middle to late years, One million people in the United States.
Approximately 80,000 individuals acquire aphasia each year.
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- The neurologist will ask the patient with brain injury, stroke of brain tumor to converse, answer questions, name objects or understand commands. If the physician suspects aphasia, they will refer one to a speech-language pathologist who will perform a more comprehensive test to determine language difficulties.
- Prevent brain injury: safe driving, safety helmet when biking, factory, farm and power tool safety.
- Prevent stroke.
- Recovery varies due to degree of injury, location of injury, health of patient, and age of patient.
See also Needs and Solutions below.
- People are more alike than they are different.
- Identify and develop an appreciation for each persons strengths and accomplishments.
- Become aware of the affect on daily activities.
- People First Language from disabilityisnatural.com by Kathie Snow offers insight into society's use of language when using the term disability. The term disability is a societal construct to identify characteristics related to a medical condition that may entitle an individual for services or legal protections. The use of this language encourages freedom, respect and inclusion for all, and recognizes forms of language that can isolate, create negative stereotypes and place attitudinal barriers for individuals. "Using People First Language, putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction. People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees themself!" For more articles by Kathie Snow to "help us begin to use more respectful and accurate language and create positive change," visit People First Language and More
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- Aphasia is an effect of a brain injury, brain trauma or stroke.
- The person with aphasia can become very frustrated because they can still think, inside they are making sense to themselves, they may even feel that they are saying words so others can understand, when in reality the words are coming out jumbled or incoherent.
- The person communicating with the person who has aphasia needs to understand the above and communicate directly with the person, do not refer to them in the third person. Often a single word or they will find other creative ways of expressing themselves that will indicate that they are aware of the meaning of the conversation.
Visit our NHU Community Forum on Aphasia for more insights, awareness, viewpoints, experiences, needs and solutions.
Needs and Solutions
- Emergency and critical care management
- Comprehensive examination of the person's ability to understand, speak, read and write.
- Rehab: patient and family education, speech and language therapy
From the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders offers the following tips to
- Simplify language by using short uncomplicated sentences.
- Repeat the content words or write down key words to clarify meaning as needed.
- Maintain a natural conversational manner apropriate for an adult.
- Minimize distractions, such as a blaring radio, whenever possible.
- Include the person with aphasia in conversations.
- Ask for and value the opinion of the person with aphasia, especially regarding family matters.
- Encourage any type of communication, whether it is speech, gesture, pointing or drawing.
What to do if your insurance for speech or physical therapy runs out?
As a caregiver get involved in the kind of activities that are needed for your survivor. There are many simple activities that can assist the survivor to get their brain and body functioning.
Checkout this article by the Aphasia Hope Foundation Aphasia Therapy When Insurance Coverage Runs Out
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Learn More about Aphasia
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[Updated May 31, 2017]
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