National Aphasia Association

National Aphasia Association
National Aphasia Association

Non-profit Organization

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month.  Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder  that impairs a person’s ability to process language but does not affect intelligence.  People with aphasia have difficulty speaking and understanding others as well as reading and writing.  The most common cause of aphasia is stroke (about 25-40% of stroke survivors acquire aphasia). It can also result from head injury, brain tumor or other neurological causes.

Understanding, patience and a few commonsense strategies will help family, friends, caregivers and the public communicate with people with aphasia:

  1. Have the person’s attention before you speak.

  2. Minimize or eliminate background noise (TV, radio, other people).

  3. Keep your own voice at a normal level. 

  4. Keep communication simple, but adult.

  5. Give them time to speak, resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.

  6. Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing and facial expressions. 

  7. Confirm that you are communicating successfully with “yes” and “no” questions. 

  8. Praise all attempts to speak and downplay any errors.

  9. Engage in normal activities whenever possible.

  10. Encourage independence, avoid being overprotective.

The National Aphasia Association (NAA) is a consumer-focused, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1987 as the first national organization dedicated to advocating for persons with aphasia and their families.  Resources include:

NAA Hotline (800-922-4622) helps over 5,000 families a year.

NAA National Registry links to over 440 aphasia US support groups and 210 state representatives.  helping an estimated 300,000 families a year.

The Aphasia Handbook: A Guide for Stroke and Brain Injury Survivors and Their Families - this award-winning, internationally acclaimed book is a user-friendly, easy-to-understand resource.

Aphasia Awareness Training for Emergency Responders Project

NAA Poster


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