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.


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