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.

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