Aphasia is a language problem caused by damage to the communication centres of the brain. Depending upon the area of damage, aphasia can affect a person’s understanding, speaking, reading and writing. Often, all of these areas are affected to some extent, but some may be more impaired than others.

Different types of aphasia:

  • Receptive aphasia – problems with understanding language.
  • Expressive aphasia – difficulties with saying what you want to.
  • Mixed aphasia – a combination of issues that affect most or all types of communication.

Symptoms of receptive aphasia include:

  • Not understanding what people say.
  • Feeling as though people are speaking in a foreign language.
  • Not understanding long, complicated sentences, or forgetting part of what has been said.
  • Having difficulty understanding someone speaking to you when there are distractions or background noise.
  • Not understanding things that you read, or being able to read out loud.
  • Being able to write, but not to read back what has been written.

  Symptoms of expressive aphasia include:

  • Not being able to use words to speak at all.
  • Only being able to use single words or short sentences, but nothing longer, or missing out some words in a sentence.
  • Having difficulty with finding the right word to use, and having to take long pauses while speaking.
  • Answering “yes” but mean “no” or vice versa.
  • Knowing which word you want to say, but saying a different one.
  • Using words and sentences that do not make sense, including use of non-words, without realising that it does not make sense.
  • Being able to describe things but not think of their name.
  • Using the same few words in answer to everything (this can include swear words)
  • Getting stuck on certain words and repeating them a number of times.
  • Having trouble with reading, with words on the page not making sense
  • Having difficulties with writing..