Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to various portions of the brain that promote language. Aphasia may cause difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, but does not affect intellect. (American Speech, Language and Hearing Association)

Types of Aphasia

  • Broca’s Aphasia
    • You know what you want to say, but cannot find the words needed communicate.
  • Wernicke’s Aphasia
    • You hear someone talking or see the printed page, but cannot make sense of the words.
  • Anomic or Amnesia Aphasia
    • The least severe form of aphasia. Individuals have difficulty in using the right names for objects, people, places or events.
  • Global Aphasia
    • The most severe, caused by widespread damage to the language areas of the brain. Individuals with global aphasia cannot speak or understand speech, nor can they read or write.

Types of Treatment

  • Group Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Visual speech perception therapy, which focuses on associating pictures with words

Multimodal Treatment

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) – treatment involving the use of augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, to help patients with aphasia express themselves.
  • Visual Action Therapy – Treatment used with individuals with global aphasia. This nonvocal approach trains people with aphasia to use hand gestures to indicate specific items.
  • Promoting Aphasics’ Communication Effectiveness (PACE) – treatment designed to improve conversational skills using any modality to communicate messages. Both the person with aphasia and the clinician take turns as the message sender or receiver, promoting active participation from the person with aphasia.
    (AHSA.ORG)

Supporting a Loved One Suffering from Aphasia

  1. Get the person’s attention before you start speaking.
  2. Maintain eye contact and watch the person’s body language and use of gesture.
  3. Minimize or eliminate background noise (e.g. TV, radio, other people)
  4. Keep your voice at a normal level. Do not speak loudly unless the person asks you.
  5. Keep communication simple, but adult. Don’t “talk down” to the person with aphasia.
  6. Simplify your sentence structure and emphasize key words.
  7. Reduce your speech rate.
  8. Give the individuals time to speak. Resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.
  9. Communicate using drawings, gestures, writing, and facial expressions in addition to speech.
  10. Encourage the person to use drawings, gestures and writing.
  11. Use “yes” and “no” questions rather than open ended questions.
  12. Praise all attempts to speak and downplay any errors. Avoid insisting that each word be produced correctly.
  13. Engage in normal activities and avoid being overprotective.

(American Speech, Language and Hearing Association)

Partner Approaches

  • Conversation Coaching – treatment designed to improve communication between the person with aphasia and primary communication partners. The SLP serves as the “coach” for both partners.
  • Supported Communication Intervention (SCI) – An approach to aphasia rehabilitation that emphasizes the need for multimodal communication, partner training and opportunities for social interaction. The three essential elements of SCI are incorporating augmentative and alternative communication, training communication partners, and promoting social communication participation in an aphasia group.
  • Social and Life Participation Effectiveness – An approach that focuses on the real-life goals of the person with aphasia, considering what the person can do with and without support. Intervention may also focus on others affected by aphasia, such as family members.(ASHA.ORG)

Aphasia Support, Therapy Group at Autumn Oak

  • Group therapy sessions twice a week to help those dealing with aphasia, to continuously build language skills
    • Tuesday and Thursday 9-10am
    • Free to current guests receiving speech therapy
    • Please RSVP your seat (281) 816-3067
  • Support from therapist to guide groups and offer suggestions for effective communication

Benefits of the Group Therapy

Practice for effective communication with loved ones and coworkers

  • Building friendships with fellow patients that know the struggle of communication
  • A fun and effective way to continue to remediate language difficulties

“My daughter has been seeing her speech therapist, Vilma Sandoval, for just a few months now and we have already seen such progress. My daughter loves going and feels so comfortable and welcomed there. The entire staff has always been very professional and kind. I highly recommend Autumn Oaks to anyone looking for a place to receive care.”

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“My son Caleb attended Autumn Oaks for about two years because he had a speech delay. During his time there his speech and pronunciation improved greatly. Mrs. Eshita (our speech pathologist) is so encouraging, patient and supportive. The entire staff is friendly and great to work with. We cannot thank Autumn Oaks enough for helping our son!!”

“My daughter has been seeing her speech therapist, Vilma Sandoval, for just a few months now and we have already seen such progress. My daughter loves going and feels so comfortable and welcomed there. The entire staff has always been very professional and kind. I highly recommend Autumn Oaks to anyone looking for a place to receive care.”

“I went to Autumn oak for a new set of hearing aides. The Staff is Great, the Professionalism and kindness is awesome. I am very happy with the Service I have received, the amount of testing Dr Saltarrelli has done has been fantastic. She takes the time needed to get things right.”