Communicating With People Who Have Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication impairment usually acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury. It affects both the ability to express oneself through speech, gesture, and writing, and to understand the speech, gesture, and writing of others. Aphasia thus changes the way in which we communicate with those people most important to us: family, friends, and co-workers.

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The impact of aphasia on relationships may be profound, or only slight. No two people with aphasia are alike with respect to severity, former speech and language skills, or personality. But in all cases it is essential for the person to communicate as successfully as possiblefrom the very beginning of the recovery process.

Here are some suggestions to help communicate with a person with aphasia:

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What is Aphasia?

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing.

What Causes Aphasia?

The most common cause of aphasia is stroke (about 25-40% of stroke survivors acquire aphasia). It can also result from head injury, brain tumor or other neurological causes.

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