What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a language difficulty which may affect a person’s ability to talk, understand, read, write, use numbers and use gestures.

What causes Aphasia?

Well, aphasia is caused by damage to the brain. This is most commonly from a stroke, but may also be a result of trauma, tumour or infection on the brain.

It is important to remember:

  • Aphasia affects every person differently. Some people may only have mild difficulties, others may have more severe difficulties. Some people may have difficulties talking, others may have difficulty reading.
  • People with aphasia are intelligent – they still have thoughts, opinions and emotions, however, they may have difficulty communicating this.
  • People with aphasia can still hear and see.

Are you caring for someone with aphasia?

Caring for someone with aphasia will affect everyone differently. It is very normal at the start to feel like you aren’t ‘qualified’ enough to take on the role as a carer for someone with aphasia. It is important to not be afraid to ask for help. You will be able to manage caring for someone much better if you allow people to help you.

How to communicate with someone with aphasia:

  • Ensure you have the person’s attention before you start.
  • Simplify your sentences, reduce your rate of speech and emphasize key words, however, do not “talk down” to the person.
  • Allow them time to speak. Do not try and finish their sentences.
  • Keep distractions and noise down (e.g. turn TV off).
  • Support communication with gestures, drawings etc. where possible.

Did you know that SHSP run a communication group for adults with aphasia?

If you have any further questions about aphasia or therapy that may benefit someone with aphasia, please call us on (02) 4862 5063, or email at admin@shsp.com.au