APHASIA: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE AFFECTED BY ITCategory: Newsworthy Notes
Aphasia is damage that specifically affects the portions of the brain that support language; Generally associated with damage to the left hemisphere of the brain; It usually occurs in adults; It is an acquired language impairment, and people with aphasia indicate that they know what they want to say, but they just can’t say it. Aphasia is an impairment of language, that affects the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Particularly in older people, Aphasia is due to an injury to the brain - most often from a stroke; however, it can also be from brain injuries arising from head trauma, brain tumors, or brain infections. Aphasia can be so severe that it makes communication almost impossible, OR it can be mild. It may affect a single aspect of language use, such as the ability to retrieve the names of objects, the ability to put words together into sentences, or the ability to read. More commonly, however, multiple aspects of communication are impaired. The National Aphasia Association, in conjunction with the American Stroke Association, has communication tips for those experiencing aphasia and those speaking with someone with aphasia. Here are a few key tips to get you started:
- Keep it simple. Speak in short, simple sentences.
- Be Patient. Allow plenty of time for a response.
- Remove distractions. Turn off radios and TVs.
- Be Creative. Try writing, gesturing, pictures and communication tools like an iPad.
- Confirm. Repeat back what you think he/she is saying.
The different types of aphasia are Global, Broca’s, Wernicke’s, Primary Progressive, Anomic, and Mixed Non-fluent aphasia.