At IHA, the University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP), a program of the University Center for the Development of Language & Literacy (UCLL), treats adults with aphasia.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that results from damage to the brain, following:
- Head injury
- Brain tumor
Aphasia can affect any or all aspects of language, including:
- Understanding speech
People with aphasia may also have other impairments in:
- Motor movements for speech (Dysarthria or Apraxia)
- Memory Attention/concentration
- Reasoning, problem-solving
- Math skills
Aphasia is NOT a:
- Loss of intelligence
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of identity
There are different types of aphasia (depending on which aspects of language are most impaired) as well as varying levels of severity. Each individual with aphasia is different!
Many people with aphasia have difficulty speaking:
- Some people talk a lot, but their words and sentences may have little meaning.
- Other people say very little. Their speech may be slow and effortful, consisting of mostly single words rather than full sentences.
- Many people with aphasia have difficulty thinking of the words they want to say.
Many people with aphasia have difficulty understanding:
- From listening to and understanding single words or questions to participating in conversation
- Understanding speech can be especially difficult for some people…
- When the topic or context of the conversation is unfamiliar
- When sentences are fast, long, complex
- When they’re in a noisy environment
- When they’re tired
- When they’re talking on the phone
People with aphasia may have difficulty with writing:
- From copying single letters or words to writing full sentences or paragraphs
- Many people with aphasia have difficulty with spelling words
- For many people with aphasia, their writing mirrors their speech with respect to putting words together into sentences or questions
People with aphasia may have difficulty with reading:
- From single words to newspapers or novels
- For some people with aphasia, their reading comprehension mirrors their listening comprehension
At UMAP, we recognize that aphasia can affect all aspects of our clients’ daily lives, including:
- Communicating with loved ones and friends
- Returning to work
- Watching TV or movies
- Reading the newspaper, novels, menus, emails, etc.
- Answering the phone
- Making a doctor’s appointment
- Buying groceries
- Refilling prescriptions
- Ordering food at a restaurant
Thus, at UMAP, assessing ALL aspects of language (speaking, understanding, reading, and writing) and considering the client’s personal and professional needs and wishes assist us in developing the best treatment plan for each individual client.