June is National Aphasia Awareness Month. Aphasia is a communication disorder that damages one’s ability to use and understand language. This disorder is a common symptom of brain damage, which frequently occurs during a stroke. Aphasia affects more than one million people in America, and one in four survivors of stroke have some type of language impairment after stroke.

Specifically, a stroke that damages the frontal and parietal lobes of the right hemisphere in the brain may cause one to have difficulty speaking and also processing language.

Common Symptoms

No one experiences aphasia in precisely the same way as another, but the common symptoms include difficulty with:

  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Understand what is said
  • Using numbers
  • Using nonverbal cues

There are four basic types of aphasia:

  • Nonfluent – Has trouble writing, speaking or finding a word. One of the common types of nonfluent is Broca’s aphasia.
  • Fluent – Speech rate can be normal, but the person may not make any sense. May also have problems understanding reading or what others say to them.
  • Global – Most severe. Patients are not able to articulate words, and may not be able to understand language at all.
  • Anomic aphasia – Inability to come up with words that the person wants to talk about, especially nouns and verbs.

Treatment Options

Recovering completely from aphasia is possible, but if symptoms occur for more than six months, then total recovery is difficult. Speech therapy can be very helpful for aphasia, with therapy exercises and techniques being very helpful.

Other types of therapy that can help a survivor of stroke:

  • Melodic intonation therapy – Can allow the survivor to sing words that they can’t speak.
  • Visual speech perception therapy – Focuses on assigning pictures to words.
  • Constraint-induced language therapy – Involves the creation of scenarios where spoken communication is the only way to communicate.
  • Group therapy and support

Helpful Stroke Supplies


It is important for caregivers of stroke patients to really understand how to manage the needs of their loved ones. The Complete Eldercare Planner gives you the tips and tools to handle caregiving. Also, consider 100 Questions and Answers to Stroke, which provides you with detailed explanations for the most common questions about this condition.