About Aphasia

What Is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language difficulty caused by damage to the brain. People with aphasia may have difficulty with:

  • Talking
  • Listening (understanding what others say)
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Using numbers
  • Using gestures

What Causes Aphasia?

Aphasia can occur with events that affect the areas of the brain that are important for language. These may include a stroke, brain tumour, head injury or degenerative disease.

Aphasia Facts And Tips:

  • Aphasia disrupts language and communication. Aphasia does not mean loss of intelligence, thoughts or memory.

  • Aphasia doesn’t change a person’s pre-aphasic character: their fundamental preferences and personality remain the same.

  • Talking and communication may be difficult or different. Practise the strategies that the Speech Pathologist has taught you. For some people this comes naturally, but for most they really need time and practice to work out what works best.

  • Communication is not just about talking. Communication involves body language, facial expression, gesture, intonation in the voice, pointing, sharing, reading, writing and doing things together. A person with aphasia may not speak a message clearly or accurately but can still convey a message effectively in other ways. Sometimes a look can "say a thousand words”, or pointing and gesturing can convey a message.

  • People with aphasia may find they cannot concentrate for long, and need more rest or sleep. They may fatigue more easily. Noisy environments can also make it hard to talk and concentrate. Communicating can be tiring.

  • Allow extra time for everyday activities.

  • Remember aphasia recovery can be slow. Improvements in language, and changes and adjustments with effective communication can continue for years. Evidence suggests that neural pathways in the brain can continue to make new connections even after a stroke or brain injury.