Aphasia Therapy

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Aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. For most people, these are parts of the left side (hemisphere) of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often as the result of a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as in the case of a brain tumor. The disorder impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. "Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage". (Sarno 23) Anyone can acquire aphasia, but most people who have aphasia are in their middle to late years. Men and women are equally affected. "It is estimated that approximately 80,000 individuals acquire aphasia each year".(Eiesenson 37) "About one million persons in the United States currently have aphasia".(www.aphasia.org) Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain. Many times, the cause of the brain injury is a stroke. A stroke occurs when, for some reason, blood is unable to reach a part of the brain. Brain cells die when they do not receive their normal supply of blood, which carries oxygen and important nutrients. Other causes of brain injury are severe blows to the head, brain tumors, brain infections, and other conditions of the brain. "Individuals with Broca's aphasia have damage to the frontal lobe of the brain". (www.aphasia.org) These individuals frequently speak in short, meaningful phrases that are produced with great effort. Broca's aphasia is thus characterized as a nonfluent aphasia. Affected people often omit small words such as "is," "and," and "the." "For example, a person with Broca's aphasia may say, "Walk dog" meaning, "I will take the dog for a walk." The same sentence could also mean "You take the dog for a walk," or "The dog walked out of the yard," depending on the circumstances". (Jakobson 43) Individuals with Broca's aphasia are able to...
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