EXERCISE - National Stroke Association


EXERCISE - National Stroke Association




Simply defined, aphasia is the loss of ability to communicate normally resulting from damage to the

left side of the brain, the center of communication. It may affect a person’s ability to express himself

through spoken language and to understand what others say, as well as the ability to read, write or

deal with numbers. Intelligence is not lowered, although the inability to communicate may leave the

impression that the person with aphasia is less intelligent than he or she actually is.

No two people with aphasia are affected in exactly the same way. The extent and range of deficits

depend on the location and severity of the brain injury.

Types of Communication Problems

Resulting from Aphasia


Problems with spoken expression vary greatly among people with aphasia. Some people are able to

speak at a normal rate. Others speak slowly, with pauses and great difficulty. Some can produce only

a few words or phrases, but may be capable of uttering obscenities when angry. Less commonly, a

stroke survivor may be unable to speak at all. Most people with aphasia need extra time to express

their ideas and respond to questions. The language of people with aphasia often contains errors.

For example, they may say “dog” instead of horse or “may” instead of “hey.” Some people speak

at a normal rate but their language makes little or no sense. Some use nonsense words. Some are

aware of their errors while others are not.

People with “word-finding” problems may frequently pause during conversation, use nonspecific

words (like “thing” or “it”) and make word errors. They may struggle and become frustrated while

trying to find the right word. Attempting to get their message across in other ways, such as describing

the object or using gestures, can often help them communicate more effectively.


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