Aphasia: Everything You Need to Know

It refers to a disorder that features difficulty speaking/conversing with others, hence detracting from a wholesome classroom experience for the teacher and student alike. Thankfully, several materials have been made available (and assistive technology is being deployed) to ensure the needs of children with this challenge are met and to aid proper communication.

Some common types of aphasia include:

Global aphasia: This is the most acute type of aphasia. It’s caused by injuries to the brain’s multiple parts that are responsible for processing language. Patients with this condition can understand no or very little spoken language and can only make a few recognizable words. However, they might have fully preserved intellectual and cognitive abilities that aren’t related to speech or language.

Broca’s aphasia: This is also called expressive or non-fluent aphasia. Patients with this condition have partial loss of their language ability. They’ve difficulty speaking fluently, and their speech might be limited to a few words at a time. Their speech is described as effortful or halting as they can only speak a few words at a time. They’re generally able to understand speech well and maintain their reading ability but might have limited writing abilities.

Mixed non-fluent aphasia: Patients with this form of aphasia have effortful and limited speech, similar to those with Broca’s aphasia. However, these patients’ comprehension abilities are more limited compared to patients with Broca’s aphasia. They may be able to read and write, but not more than an elementary school level.

Wernicke’s aphasia: This is also called receptive aphasia or fluent aphasia. It’s referred to as fluent because while the patients have an impaired ability to understand spoken words, they don’t have difficulty producing connected speech. However, what they say might not make lots of sense, and they’ll use irrelevant or nonsense words in their sentences. Often, they don’t realize that they’re using the incorrect words.

Anomic aphasia: People with anomic aphasia are unable to come up with appropriate words for what they want to talk about. They have a grasp of grammar, but they simply can’t find the right words to discuss what they want to. They also have trouble finding the right words when they write.

Primary progressive aphasia: This is a neurological syndrome in which people lose their ability to use language progressively and slowly. While most other types of aphasia are caused by stroke, primary progressive aphasia is caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The condition progresses as the tissue in the brain’s language centers deteriorates over time.