Aphasia affects about 2 million people in the United States, but most people don’t even know what it is. Educating the general public is a big first step in getting people with aphasia the help they need.
Aphasia is difficulty understanding and/or using language. It can affect speech, reading, and writing. It usually happens after a stroke, but can also be from brain tumors, head injuries, or other neurological conditions. Some people have mild aphasia that is barely noticeable, while others may have difficulty saying even a single word.
Aphasia is sometimes mistaken for a hearing loss or a loss of intelligence. Imagine knowing exactly what you want to say, but being unable to use speech and language to communicate it. How would you feel if the person you were talking with just got loud or started yelling, assuming that would help you understand him better? This is an example of a daily frustration that a person living with aphasia might experience.
If yelling is not the answer, how can we help people with aphasia communicate more easily? Here are some top communication tips:
be patient, allow extra time
acknowledge the frustration
use short, simple sentences
use and encourage gestures, writing, and drawing
provide choices and yes/no questions
if you don't understand, say so
repeat back to confirm
If you have been experiencing word finding our speech therapists have experience working with individuals and have more strategies that may help. Please contact our office at 315-810-2423 or email@example.com with any questions about how we may be able to help you!