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Peninsula Community Health
 

Aphasia

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a condition, which affects a person’s ability to communicate.

This can include difficulties with:

  • talking
  • finding the right words
  • understanding what people are saying
  • reading
  • writing
  • numbers/telling the time/handling money

Aphasia can be caused by: 

  • A stroke
  • Head Injury
  • Brain tumour
  • Infections of the brain – e.g.; meningitis

How Can Speech and Language Therapy Help?

A Speech and Language therapist can expertly diagnose aphasia. It is often a difficult condition to identify and sometimes it can be confused with other difficulties. By using a variety of tools our Speech and Language therapists can assess and decipher what type of aphasia is present.

Our therapists can then explain what aphasia is and help the person, and their family, to understand why they are having difficulties.

Therapy can include advice about strategies and techniques to help, planning of personal goals and activities and discovering the most successful way for the individual to communicate.

In addition the Speech and Language therapist can direct people to local support networks which can help provide opportunities for communication.


Case Study

Noah had a stroke.  He had aphasia and more specifically had difficulties with finding the right words, forming longer sentences and handling money. 

He could read some single words and short sentences but struggled with anything longer such as a newspaper article. He was able to write his name and address down but struggled with writing a shopping list. 

Noah came to speech and language therapy and was helped to understand why his stroke had changed his speech, reading and numbers. He learned that he was able to get his message across with a combination of using some gestures, some basic drawings (such as stick men) and writing the first letter of the word. He also found that these techniques helped him to recall more words.

Noah has started to write his own shopping lists using a chart put together by his speech and language therapist. He is able to select his item and copy the name down. This gives him independence and confidence.

Noah now attends a conversation group and is also involved in training conversation support partners. He provides the volunteers with the opportunity to practice their new skills and enjoys the role of being the expert in aphasia!

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