I have aphasia: Now what?

Published: November 2nd, 2017

Category: Faculty Accomplishments, Featured

Can you define aphasia? For many individuals who receive this diagnosis it is a foreign and confusing word. In fact, for someone with aphasia, many words are challenging. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that occurs from neurological insult to the language area (usually the left hemisphere). It results in difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and understanding speech in someone who could previously complete these activities with ease. Despite the term aphasia being largely unknown, about two MILLION Americans suffer from this disorder.

Aphasia impacts the entire family, imagine if you could not communicate with your spouse or your child could not communicate with you. On August 18 and 19th an aphasia workshop was held at the University of Florida. This was organized through the Speech, Language, and Hearing Department, the graduate student organization (GNSSLHA), and the Department of Neurology. The team from Voices of Hope for Aphasia (http://www.vohaphasia.org/) presented this workshop focused on education and providing functional communication techniques that could be immediately implemented into everyday life. There was also a time for bonding and sharing about struggles and successes participants have overcome while dealing with aphasia.