Aphasia

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Aphasia results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language (typically in the left half of the brain). Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues. Aphasia may causes difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, but does not affect intelligence. Individuals with aphasia may also have other problems, such as dysarthria, apraxia, or swallowing problems.

People with aphasia may:

  • Experience difficulty coming up with the words they want to say
  • Substitute the intended word with another word
  • Switch sounds within words
  • Use made-up words
  • Have difficulty putting words together to form sentences
  • String together made-up words and real words fluently but without making sense
  • Misunderstand what others say, especially when they speak fast (e.g., radio or television news) or in long sentences
  • Find it hard to understand speech in background noise or in group situations
  • Misinterpret jokes and take the literal meaning of figurative speech (e.g., “it’s raining cats and dogs”)
  • Have difficulty reading forms, pamphlets, books, and other written material
  • Have problems spelling and putting words together to write sentences
  • Have difficulty understanding number concepts (e.g., telling time, counting money, adding/subtracting)

There are many types of treatment available for individuals with aphasia. The type of treatment depends on the needs and goals of the person with aphasia. Treatment may be provided in individual or group sessions.


"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Different 'experts' involved in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland
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Eric Hermans; Netherlands
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Shari Wade; USA
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is proven to bring health improvements; improve independence; reduces the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Case management for children and young people post acquired brain injury is 'pivotal' to successful outcomes and must be local"
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand

OUR MISSION: To work to remove inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

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