What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is an acquired language disorder resulting from a stroke or brain injury. It affects a person’s ability to process, use, and/or understand language. Aphasia does not affect intelligence.

Aphasia can affect all forms of language – speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Aphasia can cause frustration and stress for an individual living with it, as well as for his or her caregiver. An aphasia diagnosis is unplanned, unexpected, and frustrating, but it’s not hopeless.

There are many types of aphasia, and characteristics vary depending on the location and degree of damage to the brain. The greater the severity of the aphasia, the more limited the speech and language skills.

These Are the Symptoms of Mild To Severe Aphasia

Mild aphasia:

  • Individuals may have trouble understanding long messages
  • Individuals may need a little extra time to understand and respond to spoken messages
  • Individuals may have difficulty finding words to express or explain an idea
  • Individuals may put words in the wrong order, or substitute the wrong word/part of a word when talking. For example, he or she may call a “table” a “cup”
  • Individuals may have difficulty responding to questions on the spot

Severe aphasia:

  • Individuals may have trouble understanding spoken messages
  • Individuals may be unreliable in responding to “yes and no” questions
  • Individuals may not be aware of their own errors
  • Individuals may use a combination of words and jargon that is not understood by others
  • Individuals may have little or no speech

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