Tuesday, May 31, 2011

National Aphasia Awareness Month 2011

By Diane Forrest, RN

Aphasia is an impairment of language ability ranging from having difficulty remembering words to being completely unable to speak, read, or write. It can occur suddenly as with a head injury or stroke, or develop over time with dementia, infection or brain tumor.

Signs and symptoms

People with aphasia may experience any of the following behaviors:

  • inability to comprehend language ;
  • inability to pronounce, not due to muscle paralysis or weakness;
  • inability to speak spontaneously;
  • inability to form words;
  • inability to name objects;
  • poor enunciation;
  • inability to repeat a phrase;
  • persistent repetition of phrases;
  • uncompleted sentences;
  • inability to read;
  • inability to write;
  • limited verbal output; and
  • difficulty in naming.
In November of 2009, my husband became septic from a kidney infection. His temperature rose to 106 degrees, and remained that high for about a week. He was awake and alert, but began speaking in a "foreign language". Once his fever started going down, he was visited by a speech therapist. Of course never seeing him before, she assumed he had this problem for a while. Once I informed her that it only started when the fever went up, and his speech should return to normal once the infection was gone, she decided to wait it out. Sure enough, his speach returned to normal in a few days and all was right with the world.


Treatment is according to the cause of aphasia, but the main course of treatment involves working with a speech therapist.


For more information see: http://www.aphasia.org/


  1. For longer term aphasia look at http://redoable.wordpress.com



  2. Thanks for the info Idelaforet!