Aphasia: overview

Aphasia is an acquired, multi-modal language disorder resulting from neurological damage. It may affect a person’s ability to talk, write and understand spoken and written language, leaving other cognitive abilities intact.

Aphasia is a long-term, life-changing condition, which affects both the individual and others around him / her. Living with aphasia involves individuals and those in their environment in a process of adaptation to change, in terms of communication style, lifestyle, identity and life roles. 

Key points:

  • Speech and language therapists play a unique role in identification and assessment of those with aphasia.  

  • SLTs also have a key role in education and training others involved in the care of those with aphasia, including family and health, education and social care staff.

  • Specific speech and language therapy programmes aimed at reducing certain impairments have been found to be effective with some patients.

  • Communication aids (AAC), improves communication competence of some persons with aphasia.

  • Persons with aphasia remain at risk as defined by the Mental Capacity Act (2005) / Incapacity Act and SLTs are integral to assessing competence for consenting, etc.

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