Aphasia is a language disorder acquired secondary to an injury in the part of the brain responsible for language. Aphasia is very often caused by injury to the left hemisphere of the brain. Aphasia affects language comprehension, language production, reading and writing. There are several types of aphasia; the main divisions are fluent and non-fluent aphasia. The severity of aphasia depends on the extent and the location of the brain injury.

Characteristics of aphasia:

- Difficulty with language comprehension:
- Answering yes/no questions (Are you Mary?)
- Following commands (Give me your hand.)
- Understanding short stories

- Difficulty with language production
- Naming
- Formulating sentences
- Answering questions
- Explaining/describing
- Finding words (e.g. using the wrong or nonsense word).
- Repeating

- Difficulty with oral reading and reading comprehension
- Decoding single letters
- Decoding singe words/sentences or short paragraphs
- Understanding written sentences or paragraphs

- Difficulty with writing
- Copying letters or
- Formulating single words or sentences
- Spellings and using word substitutions

Signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual. It is not necessary to have all of the characteristics above to be diagnosed with aphasia. Individuals on the higher spectrum of functionality may be able to formulate complete sentences but experience slight difficulty with auditory comprehension and word finding. Individuals on the lower spectrum of functionality may be “global”, unable to comprehend and speak at all. Aphasia may co-exist with other disorders such as apraxia of speech or dysarthria.

Causes of aphasia

- Stroke (CVA)
- Hemorrhage
- Head tumor
- Head trauma

Useful resources:

- National Aphasia Association
- Stroke Association 

Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Beata Klarowska is an American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech and language pathologist, licensed by the state of California.Beata cofounded Virtual Speech Center Inc. in 2011 and, to date, has developed more than 30 apps for speech, language, and cognition.


Apraxia of speech

By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Apraxia of speech is a neurogenic motor- speech disorder secondary to damage to the parts of the brain; responsible for motor programming and sequencing. Apraxia of speech does not include muscular weakness, coordination or sensory loss. Facial muscles move but they have difficulty executing the program necessary for appropriate movements/articulatory postures. Individuals with apraxia of speech know what they want to say but have difficulty saying it.



By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Dysarthria is a neurogenic motor speech disorder resulting from muscular weakness of the tongue, lips, soft palate, larynx or respiratory muscles . Individuals with dysarthria may exhibit abnormalities in strength, speed, range, tone and accuracy of muscular movements. Dysarthria may affect speech production, voice, respiration and prosody (melody of speech). There are different types of dysarthria. Dysarthria may co-exist with other disorders like apraxia of speech or aphasia (acquired language disorder).



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