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The Silence of Aphasia

aphasia photo

There is a saying that “Silence is golden”and while this may be true in many situations, if you or someone you love has been afflicted with Aphasia you may long to hear words from their lips. Aphasia is caused by an injury to the brain and is an impairment of the ability to speak, understand speech and/or the ability to read and write.

Causes of Aphasia

  • Stroke
  • Severe Head Trauma
  • Brain Tumors
  • Cancer of the Brain
  • An Infection of the Brain

The severity of Aphasia depends upon the individual and their particular injury. Some cases of Aphasia can be so severe that communication is nearly impossible; it can also be very mild, where there is impairment but still some ability to communicate but with issue.

What’s Available for Helping Aphasia Patients & Their Families?

There are a number of materials that are available to help both those who suffer from Aphasia and those who are living and caring for someone with Aphasia.

  • Online Communities – these online communities can serve as a place to vent and also share information with others in similar situations. Having
  • Books – there are a number of books written by professionals about Aphasia and various methods of treatment. Some books are written by people who have suffered through Aphasia, helping you to understand how they feel when they can’t tell people exactly what they want or need.
  • Special Apps – in a world of technology there are a number of apps that are created to help learn how to read, write, and speak. Many times these apps are created for children who are learning; however, some are created specifically for those who have Aphasia.
  • Speech Therapy – specializing in speech, there are therapists who work specifically with those who have Aphasia. You want to be assured that the S.T. you work with is a Certified Speech Therapist with the proper background and experience.
  • In Home Healthcare – it can be very helpful to have a qualified in-home healthcare professional come to your home and help you get through certain chores, making phone calls, or other aspects of everyday life that can be more difficult while dealing with Aphasia.
  • Assistive Devices – there are many assistive devices that can help to communicate with others including speech boards, cards with pictures so that the person who has Aphasia can point to or touch the cards to tell you what they need, and devices to help in various situations

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that Aphasia affects a person’s ability to speak and write; while sometimes affecting their ability to read and/or understand others speaking. However, one of the biggest mistakes that people make is immediately assuming that someone with Aphasia is “simple” or “stupid” and this is absolutely one of the worst things to assume.

In most cases the person suffering from Aphasia suffers from an issue with the area of the brain that controls speech not being able to connect with the proper areas to get the words out in the way they need to. It is rarely a case of the person losing their intelligence, which is probably why it is also one of the most frustrating things to deal with when you’re afflicted with Aphasia.


 

Photo by mRio