What is aphasia?
Aphasia is a neurological disorder resulting from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. Aphasia causes problems with speaking, listening, reading, and/or writing.
Who evaluates and treats aphasia?
Physicians refer patients identified with aphasia to a Speech-Language-Pathologist for a more comprehensive assessment of language and communication.
How is aphasia assessed?
An aphasia evaluation uses procedures designed to describe current levels of functioning within relevant domains, and to identify potentially successful intervention and support procedures.
An aphasia assessment typically involves:
- Relevant case history, including medical status, education, occupation, and socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds
- Review of auditory, visual, motor, cognitive, and emotional status
- Administration of standardized assessment tools and/or non-standardized methods to assess and describe the individual’s knowledge and skills in all areas of language
- Patient’s areas of concern
- assessment of oral, speech, and motor (e.g., hemiparesis, limb apraxia, apraxia of speech) function;
- identification of contextual barriers and facilitators and potential for effective compensatory techniques and strategies, including the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
- Treatment to monitor spoken and written language status and ensure appropriate intervention and support in individuals with identified language disorders.
What happens after the evaluation?
Results of an assessment include:
- Possible diagnosis of a language disorder
- Description of the characteristics and severity of the language disorder
- Prognosis for improvement
- Recommendations for intervention and support
- Identification of the effectiveness of intervention and supports
- Possible referral for other assessments or services.