Aphasia is a language impairment that usually occurs after a stroke or other brain injury. It can cause difficulty with speaking, understanding language, reading, and/or writing. Aphasia may present differently in different people, but it does not affect intelligence. Here are some strategies to help: If you are having difficulty speaking:
- Write or draw pictures to communicate
- Use gestures to communicate
- Use a communication board with symbols you can point to. A speech therapist can help customize a communication board for you!
If you are having difficulty understanding others:
- Ask them to slow down or use simpler sentences
- Your communication partner can write keywords or use symbols or drawings
- Minimize background distractions. For example, turn off the TV.
Visit the National Aphasia Association website for more information including more information about the kinds of aphasia, more communication tips, support groups and a printable aphasia ID card, which can be helpful to show to people when you are having difficulty communicating with them. Additionally, UNC’s Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders has resources including aphasia-friendly print material.