What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a communication impairment that can affect all aspects of language, including understanding speech, speaking, reading, and writing. Aphasia is caused by a brain injury, typically due to stroke, acquired brain injury, or some other illness.

So what does that mean to you? Picture yourself in a restaurant on your holidays overseas. You pick up the menu and see that there is no English translation. No pictures either…. Darn! You see others around you comfortably reading and ordering. You ask the person next to you if they can translate and they look at you blankly, then confused and turn away. You are starting to feel frustrated as the rushed waiter comes to take your order. You try to ask him to translate but he doesn’t speak your language. He is looking at his watch and a frown creeps across his face. He rolls his eyes and marches off. What kind of feelings are you experiencing? Frustration? Isolation? This is similar to the daily experiences for some people with aphasia.

So what can we do to help someone with aphasia communicate? The National Aphasia Association have produced the following infographic which details some strategies that can help people with aphasia communicate more effectively.

Further information can also be found at Australian Aphasia Association.