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What is aphasia?

Those who have had brain damage from a stroke, tumor or traumatic injury may develop a communication disorder called aphasia, which affects roughly one million Americans.

Aphasia is caused by injury to the left side of the brain, which is the side that controls language skills. As a result, individuals have difficulty speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Those with aphasia may also have apraxia of speech anddifficulty swallowing.

What are the symptoms of aphasia?

Symptoms vary depending upon what part of the brain has been damaged. While only certified professionals can make an accurate diagnosis, general signs of aphasia include:

  • Difficulty making sounds
  • Difficulty counting money
  • Switching sounds (for example, saying a “cook bover” instead of “book cover.”)
  • Using imaginary words
  • Reading and interpreting long sentences
  • Substituting one word for a related word (for example, saying “food” instead of “refrigerator”)
  • Difficulty understanding numeric concepts
  • Difficulty interpreting jokes or common expressions
  • Difficulty with word retreival

It’s important to note that aphasia does NOT affect intelligence.

How is aphasia treated?

Because there are so many variations of aphasia, there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment. At Therapy Works, we first evaluate the specific needs of our patients and work on activities to help them reach their goals. This often involves working with language and comprehension. We also work with parents, physicians and families to help those with aphasia return to their regular day-to-day activities.

You can find additional information on aphasia from the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

If you have any questions about aphasia or how we can help you, please contact us.

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Wilmington & Shallotte 910-343-8988  / Elizabethtown 910-862-5104