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Aphasia is a language disorder that results from brain damage (e.g. stroke, tumor, or traumatic injury).  Aphasia may make it hard for you to understand, speak, read, or write. It does not affect intelligence or cause problems with the way a person thinks; however it may co-occur with other disorders such as dysarthria., apraxia, or swallowing problems.


Aphasia can lead to a number of different problems with talking, understanding, reading, and/or writing.


  • Trouble thinking of words, or getting words out

  • Saying the wrong word or nonsensical words

  • Changing order of speech sounds (e.g. "wish dasher" for "dishwasher")

  • Difficulty saying full sentences - single words may be easier

  • Challenges speaking may occur differently across native and non-native languages for bilingual speakers.



  • Difficulty understanding what others say,, especially when speech is fast, complex, or in long sentences.

  • Struggling to understand speech in noisy environments.

  • Trouble understanding jokes.

Reading and Writing

  • Difficulty reading forms, books, and computer screens.

  • Mis-spelling words and mis-ordering words when writing sentences.

  • Trouble using numbers or doing math (e.g. telling time, counting money, or adding/subtracting).


There are many types of treatment for aphasia, depending on an individual's specific challenges. It may be beneficial to work individually or in group therapy sessions, but a support system from family, friends and/or other people with aphasia is important.

Like any speech therapy, treatment for aphasia should focus on communication which is most important to the individual - for example, expressing wants/needs, writing emails for work, or reading text for school. Some people with aphasia may benefit from alternative ways to communicate such as hand gestures or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.). Aphaisa (Practice Portal). Retrieved Jan, 18th, 2023, from

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