Neurological language disorders such as aphasia can have various causes. The most common cause is stroke. Brain injury such as TBI from accidents can also lead to language disorders.
aphasia is a loss or impairment of verbal communication, which occurs as a consequence of brain dysfunction especially in the left hemisphere. It manifests in impairment of almost all verbal abilities, i.e. abnormal verbal expression, difficulties in understanding spoken or written language, repetition, naming, reading and writing.
Aphasia can vary in characteristics it depends up on the type of Aphasia and region of the brain affected.
Some Common Characteristics:
1 Having difficulty finding words.
2 Speaking in single words.
3 Replacing correct sounds and words with others sounds and words.
4 Telegraphic, low intelligibility speech.
5 Having difficulty in understanding spoken language.
6 Providing unreliable answers.
7 Lacking awareness of errors.
8 Difficulties in understanding complex grammar.
9 Having difficulties writing, copying words and sentences.
10 Having difficulty comprehending the written language.
11 Non fluent speech, slurred speech in some cases.
12 Low confidence, anger in some cases.
13 Disrupted repetitions of words and sentences.
14 Impaired receptive and expressive language skills as well as auditory and visual comprehension.
15 Weakness of limbs in some cases.
What to do?
Treatment of aphasias is multidisciplinary and depends on the symptoms, localization of the brain lesion, etiology and knowledge of the remaining speech and cognitive abilities.
Consult a SLP as soon as possible
Many speech impairments have a tendency of spontaneous recovery. Spontaneous recovery is most remarkable in the first three months after stroke onset. So, consulting a SLP on time will help the patient in recovering fast.
SLPs evaluate functional communicational skills, Oro motor skills, reading and writing skills and language comprehension skills and plan their treatment according to patient’s medical history and data. The course and outcome of aphasia depend greatly on the type of aphasia. It is necessary to start treatment as soon as possible.
SLPs modify their treatment plan according to ethnocultural background of their patients, specify the target skills and treatment procedures for all forms of communication deficits.
They compare traditional and social approaches to the rehabilitation of their patients. They provide Oro motor strengthening exercises if needed.
They also describe the need and provide varieties of Augmentative and alternative communication strategies. SLPs counsel families and caregivers to provide better services for patients with aphasia.
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