Thursday, May 31, 2012

National Aphasia Awareness Month


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By Diane Forrest

A friend of my husband, a very lovely lady who was married to my husband's pastor, had a stroke.  She has recovered from her stroke, however her ability to speak did not return to 100%.  Much like Kirk Douglas who suffered a stroke in 1996.  Although he has some ability to speak, the progress has been long and slow and requires much work with a speech therapist.  Both are able to communicate, however their speech is slow, and sometimes difficult to understand.
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A good friend of mine's brother in law suffered a stroke last month that attacked the top of his brain and he totally lost the ability to speak, however that doesn't mean that he lost his intelligence.  They all suffer from a condition known as Aphasia.
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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.
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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
  • difficulty in naming


Treatment

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

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June is National Aphasia Awareness Month.  For more information see: http://www.aphasia.org/

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