Disorders resulting from damage to parts of the brain
Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. Aphasia causes problems with any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Damage to the left side of the brain causes aphasia for most right-handers and about half of left-handers. Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language (see cognitive-linguistic disorders).
Individuals with aphasia may also have other problems, such as dysarthria, apraxia, or swallowing difficulties.
Some people with aphasia have trouble using words and sentences (expressive aphasia). Some have problems understanding others (receptive aphasia). Others with aphasia struggle with both using words and understanding (global aphasia).
Aphasia can cause problems with spoken language (talking and understanding) and written language (reading and writing). Typically, reading and writing are more impaired than talking or understanding.
Aphasia may be mild or severe. The severity of communication difficulties depends on the amount and location of the damage to the brain.
This can be frustrating for the person with aphasia and for the listener and can lead to communication breakdown. Very often, a person with aphasia has both expressive and receptive difficulties to varying degrees.
The Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) works collaboratively with the person's family and other professionals (doctors, nurses, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers) to address all of the person's needs. For example, a person who has had a stroke often has physical problems, such as weakness on one side of the body, that require treatment from a physical or occupational therapist.
The SLP evaluates the individual and determines the type and severity of aphasia. The evaluation is done by assessing the following areas of communication:
For services related to aphasia and aphasia type disorders, please contact our Highland Park, IL office which also serves the surrounding Deerfield, Glencoe, Lake Forest and Highwood, Illinois areas.