Aphasia is an impairment of language affecting the production and/or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is caused by injury to the brain - most commonly from a stroke.
Aphasia can cause problems with the spoken language (talking and understanding) and the written language (reading and writing). Typically reading and writing are more impaired than talking and understanding.
Aphasia may be mild or severe. The severity of communication difficulties depends on the amount and location of damage to the brain.
Types of Aphasia
Example: Book, book two table. Meaning there are two books on the table.
- Broca's Aphasia (non-fluent) is characterized by severely reduced speech output using short phrases spoken with great effort. Words such as "is", "and" "the" are frequently omitted The person usually understands speech relatively well and might be able to read or write.
Example: You know that smoodle pinkered and that I want to get him round and take care of him like you.
- Wernicke's Aphasia (fluent aphasia) In this type of aphasia the ability to grasp the meaning of spoken words is chiefly impaired, while the ease of producing speech is not much affected. The person may speak in long sentences that have no meaning, add unnecessary words and may make up words. Speech is far from normal.
Speech therapy is useful to help recover speech in most types of aphasia.
- Global Aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia and is applied to patients who can only produce a few words and understand little spoken language. This may be seen right after a stroke but may rapidly improve if the damage has not been too extensive.
Last updated September 2014
Copyright 2013 by Suncoast Aphasia Support Group