Aphasia is an acquired language communication disorder which is a result of localised damage to a part of the brain that is responsible for language. It usually occurs suddenly due to a stroke or head injury, but it can also develop slowly due to brain tumours, infection or dementia. Aphasia is an impairment of any language modality, for example, processing language by reading, writing, comprehension or expression. This may include difficulty in producing or understanding spoken or written language. This disorder does not affect general intellectual functioning; a person with aphasia can still carry out non-linguistic tasks. Aphasia can also occur with other speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which is also a result from brain damage. This disorder affects about one million people or 1 in 250 people in America. It is more common than Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy however it is still not very well known. Most people that have aphasia have largely problems with receptive language. Language is not just orally impaired, but also skills such as reading and writing are as well. Normally, reading and writing are more affected than oral communication. But obviously everyone is different, so the severity of this disorder can differ too. This all depends on many factors, but most importantly the amount and location of damage to the brain.
Aphasia is usually recognized by the physician who treats the person for their brain injury. The physician performs tests that involve the patient to follow commands, answer questions, name objects, and carry on a conversation. If the physician suspects aphasia, the patient is then referred to a speech-language pathologist, who performs a comprehensive examination of the per...
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... month after the brain injury, some amount of aphasia usually remains. In these cases, speech-language therapy is very helpful. Recovery usually continues over a two-year period. It is believed by many health professionals that the most effective treatment begins early in the recovery process. Some of the factors that influence the amount of improvement include the cause of the brain damage, the area of the brain that was damaged, the extent of the brain injury, and the age and health of the individual.
Fromkin, V., R. Rodman & N. Hyams (2007) An Introduction to Language (International Edition, 9th Edition) Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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