Understanding Aphasia - St. Augustine Health Ministries

Speech & Language Disorders

Did You Know? Speech and Language Disorders:
  • Affect 14 million Americans
  • Can take many forms
  • Can limit academic achievement, social adjustment, and career advancement

    Lauren Brown & Ronda Moss Speech -language pathologists St. Augustine Health Campus

    Lauren Brown & Ronda Moss
    Speech -language pathologists
    St. Augustine Health Campus

“Fortunately, most people with speech and language problems can be helped,” said Ronda Moss. “Even if the problem cannot be eliminated, we can teach people with speech and language problems strategies to help them cope. People may not fully regain their capacity to speak and understand, but a speech-language pathologist can help them live more independently.”

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language.

The most common cause of aphasia is  damage resulting from a stroke — the blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.  Brain damage caused by a severe head injury, a tumor, an infection or a degenerative process also can cause aphasia.

Aphasia causes problems with any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Some people with aphasia have trouble using words and sentences (expressive aphasia), problems understanding others (receptive aphasia), or both (global aphasia).  The severity of communication difficulties depends on the amount and location of the damage to the brain.

Here’s a video that will help you understand Aphasia.

This video explains how it feels to have aphasia and demonstrates some ways to communicate without words. It acknowledges that the loss of words is devastating, both for those who have aphasia and for the people around them. More importantly, it also holds out hope for a rich and fulfilling future. (Created and produced by Buzzco Associates, Inc.)

The speech-language pathologist (SLP) works on drills and exercises to improve specific language skills affected by damage to the brain. For example, the person may practice naming objects, following directions, or answering questions about stories. These exercises vary depending on individual needs and become more complex and challenging as skills improve.

The SLP also teaches the person ways to make use of stronger language skills. For example, some people may find it easier to express their ideas through gestures and writing than with speaking. The SLP may teach this person to use both writing and gestures to help remember words for conversation.  (ASHA, 2013)

If you have questions about speech and language disorders, please contact Lauren or Ronda at 216-939-7660