Aphasia overview​

Key points

  • Aphasia is a long-term and life-changing condition
  • Aphasia is most commonly a disorder of older adults, but can appear in children as a developmental disorder
  • Speech and language therapists play a unique role in identification and assessment of those with aphasia and educating and training other professionals working with children and adults with aphasia, their families and carers
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can improve the communication ability of people with aphasia

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What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a term used to describe a language disorder that results from damage to those areas of the brain responsible for language. It may affect a person’s ability to talk, write and understand spoken and written language, leaving other cognitive abilities and their intellect intact.

A person with aphasia may have problems in answering the telephone, watching television or listening to the radio. Everyday tasks can become impossible. This often leads to frustration, social isolation and a breakdown in close relationships.

Aphasia is a long-term, life-changing condition, which affects both the individual and others around them. The person with aphasia, their family and friends, and the wider society, all need to adapt to facilitate communication.


Find out more about Henry’s Story of living with aphasia, in the video below.

Key organisations

  • Aphasia Alliance – coalition of key organisations from all over the UK that work in the field of aphasia.
  • Aphasia Now – social initiative by people living with aphasia.
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