Aphasia is a difficulty with comprehension or formulation of language that is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain. It is most commonly a result of stroke but can also be caused by head injury, brain cancer or dementia.
People with receptive aphasia have difficulty understanding words and how words relate together in sentences. They can usually understand facial expression, tone of voice and body language but when we speak it might sound like a foreign language to them. People with expressive aphasia have difficulty putting their ideas into words. They have difficulty finding the words they want to say and putting words together into sentences to get the message across to others. Some people have predominantly receptive or expressive aphasia but many have a combination of both.
Speech Pathologists assess to find the specific weaknesses of the person with aphasia. Treatment is targeted at helping the person with aphasia to communicate by any and all means available and teaching the important people in their lives how to support their communication.
Speech Pathologists can help people who develop swallowing difficulties due to stroke or tumours, oral surgery or radiation, progressive neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or Motor Neurone Disease or congenital problems like cerebral palsy.
Speech Pathologists can assess whether a person is safe to swallow and can recommend modifications to the texture of food and fluids and safe swallowing strategies for individuals. We can also assist with strategies to manage excessive or reduced amounts of saliva.