Home > Uncategorized > Aphasia Information Pamphlet for Doctors

Aphasia Information Pamphlet for Doctors



Aphasia is caused by a stroke in the left hemisphere and can vary in its severity according to the severity of the stroke. There are many different types of aphasia. The following areas can be affected: understanding of complex language, expression of language, body language and gesture, reading, writing, spelling, numeracy, memory, understanding of humor. Some people with aphasia may take longer to speak or may say the wrong word. In this case, they know what they want to say, but just cannot say it. Intelligence is not affected by aphasia! The person’s IQ is the same as it was before the stroke. Many aphasic people understand everything, but they cannot get the right words or sentences out – it does not help if you shout or exaggerate your speech.


After their strokes, aphasic people often feel very lonely and isolated. They feel as if the stroke is not explained to them and that the doctors speak predominantly to their family or over their heads, instead of acknowledging them. It would be appreciated if written information about the stroke and possible treatment was given, so that the patients and their family could refer to it at a later stage. The group members all felt that there was no hope for the future after their strokes, due to the negative way in which the facts were provided. Patients feel that once they are medically stable no other information is given about other forms of treatment e.g. speech therapy, physiotherapy ad occupational therapy. Generally, these forms of supportive treatment are necessary and are long-term processes that benefit stroke patients. Psychologically, stroke and aphasia can cause decreased self-esteem, lack of confidence, loneliness, mood fluctuations and extreme emotionality. This is a very difficult aspect of the disorder for aphasic people and their spouses to cope with. The emotional adjustment to living with aphasia takes much time and patience from both the person affected and their families/caregivers. It is altogether a frightening experience for everybody involved. It is therefore vital for the patient and their family to be referred for counseling and any additional services that may be necessary.


The purpose of this pamphlet is to bridge the gap between the medical treatment that stroke patients receive while in acute care settings and the paramedical care they receive when at home or in more rehabilitative settings. The members of the Wits Aphasia Group feel that overcoming a stroke is a journey. Some have reached the end of their journeys and others have not. Dealing with a stroke and the consequent aphasia is a highly individual process. Thus, each stroke patient should be given adequate information that equips them to make informed decisions about their future treatment.

The Wits Aphasia Group hopes that you have found this information valuable. Thank you for your time. Wits Speech and Hearing Clinic: (011) 717- 4567

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