Improving the lives of people with aphasia and their families


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What has happened to me?

  • I have had a stroke.
  • This has injured my brain...but I can still think in my mind.
  • This may have affected my arm, leg, face.
    The language centres are found in the LEFT side of the brain for most people.
  • But everyone's stroke is different.

Why can't I talk?

  • The stroke affected the language centres of my brain.
  • I can still think normally.
  • I know what I want to say.
  • The words just don't always come.

What is Aphasia?

  • The aphasia was caused by my stroke
  • Aphasia is a difficulty with talking, understanding, reading and writing, even numbers
  • Aphasia means a change in my communication.

What will happen to me?

  • Everyone is different, but...
  • I may need some rehabilitation, e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy.
  • I may need speech therapy to help me communicate.

What might help me?

  • Look at me when you talk.
  • Don't patronise...don't assume you know what I want to say.
  • Talk normally - don't shout at me.
  • Let's discuss one idea at a time.
  • Use short sentences.
  • You might need to repeat things for me.
  • Drawing and pictures might help.
  • I may need to point to something to show you what I mean.
  • Write down things for me that I need to remember.

Important things to remember for the person with aphasia:

  • Aphasia disrupts language and communication. Aphasia does not mean loss of intelligence, thoughts or memory.
  • Aphasia doesn’t as a rule, change a person’s pre-aphasic character: their fundamental preferences and personality remain the same.
  • Talking and communication may be difficult or different. Practise the strategies that the Speech Pathologist has taught you. For some people this comes naturally, but for most they really need time and practice to work out what works best.
  • Communication is not just about talking. Communication involves body language, facial expression, gesture, intonation in the voice, pointing, sharing, reading, writing and doing things together. A person with aphasia may not speak a message clearly or accurately but can still convey a message effectively in other ways. Sometimes a look can say a “thousand words”, or pointing and gesturing can convey a message perfectly.
  • People with aphasia may find they can’t concentrate for long, and need more rest or sleep. They may fatigue more easily. Noisy environments can make it hard to talk and concentrate. Communicating can be tiring.
  • Allow extra time for everyday activities.
  • Remember aphasia recovery can be slow. Improvements in language, and changes and adjustments with effective communication can continue for years. Evidence suggests that neural pathways in the brain can continue to make new connections even after a stroke or brain injury.

  Telephoning: 08 8443 5555 The Talkback Association for Aphasia Inc.
302 South Road, Hilton.
South Australia, 5033