Aphasia occurs when a person loses the ability to use or understand language effectively. Aphasia can also affect one’s ability to read and write. There are different types of aphasia including Broca’s, Wernicke’s, Primary Progressive, Anomic, and Mixed. The type of aphasia diagnosis is based on the symptoms that are present in the individual. 

What causes Aphasia? 

Aphasia is caused by an injury to the brain. Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, but it can also occur after a traumatic brain injury or tumors/infections in the brain.  

What are the symptoms of Aphasia? 

People with expressive aphasia, or difficulty with using language, often state that they know what they want to say but they have trouble getting it out. Symptoms of expressive aphasia can involve the following: 

  • Difficulty with word-finding (anomia)  
  • Using only single words or short phrases instead of sentences 
  • Talking in long sentences but not making sense due to lack of information provided 
  • Using the wrong sound or word (e.g., cat instead of bat; foot instead of hand) 
  • Getting stuck on saying the same word over and over(perseveration) 
  • Using words that are made up (jargon) 

People with receptive aphasia, or difficulty with understanding language, state that they know that a person is talking but have difficulty processing what is being said. Symptoms of receptive aphasia, or the ability to understand language, can involve the following: 

  • Not understanding what other are saying 
  • Requiring more time with understanding others 
  • Difficulty answering questions correctly 
  • Difficulty understanding longer sentences or sentences that are spoken too quickly 

When is therapy recommended for Aphasia? 

Therapy is recommended if there are any changes in the ability to talk or understand what others are saying.  

What does therapy for Aphasia involve? 

Therapy for Aphasia depends on the type and severity of symptoms. Therapy for expressive aphasia can involve working on naming objects or pictures and using sentences with all relevant information and grammar included. Therapy for receptive aphasia involves building up the patient’s ability to process language by completing listening tasks suited to their ability level. Depending on severity, therapy may also involve training in using a Augmentative or Alternative Communication device to aid in expressing wants and needs.