Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What is Expressive Aphasia?

I spoke with a man last week that had called me to talk about my speech therapy programs for stroke survivors.  He told me that he was buying the dvds for a friend who had a stroke about 2 years ago.  So, I asked him to describe his friend. 

He said, "I don't think he has Aphasia...He is totally with it.  He just got his driver's license two weeks ago...  He can walk and he takes care of himself... He understands everything you say to him... He just can't say more than a couple of words."
Little did he know but he had just described "expressive aphasia".  People think that since their loved one's cognition is intact then he or she is not aphasic.  It is important to remember that its not the individual's intelligence that has been affected but instead it is their language skills.  Expressive aphasia is merely demonstrated by knowing what you want to say but not being able to get the words out due to the part of the brain affected.  So is it possible for a person  to drive, take care of himself, and walk independently yet still have aphasia?  Absolutely.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aphasia Recovery takes Time - Progress is Slow

My apologies.  I have not submitted an article since September 2010.  I had a baby in October and have been a full time mom for the last 4 months.  My time has been busy, but fun.  Now, I am back to work.

As I watch my baby develop, I am reminded of how slow progress is.  I don't notice change on a daily basis.  I realize that my baby is developing, but I cannot tell what progress is made from one day to the next.

Recovery from Aphasia is the same way.  Progress takes time. 

I think the older we get the more we forget how long it takes us as infants to develop into children and then into adults.  A stroke or brain injury robs a person of the vital, basic skills that took so long to develop.

We want the Aphasia to be gone and to be back to 'normal' quickly.  In most cases, that goal is next to impossible. 

If you or someone you know is recovering from Aphasia, please know that progress takes time and is a great deal easier with lots of love and encouragement.