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What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a condition that impacts upon a child’s communication abilities. It can affect their language production, their comprehension of language or both. Difficulties with production and comprehension of language is not just limited to speech, but reading and writing too.

Aphasia can be classified into three types:

  • Receptive aphasia – difficulties with understanding language; written and spoken.
  • Expressive aphasia - difficulties with expressing language using both speech and writing.
  • Mixed aphasia - difficulties with both language comprehension and expression.

The type and severity of aphasia a child can have, depends upon where in the brain the damage has happened and how much damage has been done.

How common is Aphasia?

Research suggest that there are 250,000 people living in the United Kingdom who have aphasia.

What causes aphasia?

Aphasia occurs as a result of damage to the parts of the brain that control language production and comprehension.

Damage to the brain can occur in following ways:

  • Stroke
  • Acquired head/brain injury
  • Brain tumour
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Seizures
  • Neurological diseases
  • Infections that affect the brain e.g. meningitis
  • Conditions that cause loss of cells in the brain e.g. dementia

What are the signs of Aphasia?

The symptoms that present in children with aphasia vary upon the type of aphasia and the severity of the damage to the brain. If the aphasia is the result of a traumatic brain injury or stroke, the symptoms would appear straight after the incident. If the aphasia is the result of a progressive condition the symptoms may appear over time and gradually deteriorate. Children with aphasia may not always be aware of the difficulties they present with and they may assume you are able to understand all of what they are saying.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty understanding long or complicated sentences, both spoken and written.
  • Difficulty following instructions, both written and or spoken.
  • Difficulty understanding meanings of words.
  • Difficulty with short-term memory e.g. remembering what has been said or discussed.
  • Difficulty expressing their thoughts.
  • Slow pace of speech.
  • Hesitant speech.
  • Word finding difficulties.
  • Simple speech limited to small phrases.
  • Difficulties with grammar.
  • Difficulties with spelling.
  • Difficulty retelling or recalling information.
  • May speak in long fluent sentences but they may lack meaning or contain nonsense words.

How to get a diagnosis?

Our speech and language therapists can assess your child’s language and communication skills to establish the areas of difficulty and the level of difficulty. Our speech and language therapists may use both formal and informal assessments to assess the different features of language and communication. Our speech and language therapist will also look at the impact such difficulties have on your child’s activity and participation in daily life.

Assessments for aphasia include:

  • Assessment of auditory comprehension.
  • Assessment of verbal expression.
  • Assessment of reading skills.
  • Assessment of written expression.
  • Assessment of social communication.
  • Assessment of short term memory.

Speech clinic

We are able to help children with any speech, language or communication difficulties and disorders in order to help children achieve their maximum potential.


How to support Aphasia?

Our speech and language therapists will work alongside you to create a therapy plan based around your child's individual support needs. Our therapists can carry out observation, assessment and therapy sessions at home, in school and clinic.

Useful links

Have questions?

If you have any questions about the services that we provide or the difficulties that we are able to help, do not hesitate to contact us.


Next steps

To book an appointment or to speak to one of our qualified speech and language therapists email us on office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.

To discuss training needs within your setting please take a look at our training service page or contact training@sltforkids.co.uk.

Free telephone consultation

We offer a free telephone consultation in order to discuss any concerns regarding your childs speech and language development. If you would like to book in a free telephone consultation do not hesitate to contact us on office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298. Alternatively, fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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