What are aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, and Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that control language and speech. Aphasia may result in the following difficulties:

  • thinking of words
  • forming words
  • formulating sentences
  • understanding speech
  • reading and reading comprehension
  • writing/spelling

Aphasia is not a loss of intellect but rather a loss or impairment of language. Aphasia may occur after a stroke, brain tumor, trauma or disease that affects the brain tissue. Persons with aphasia can regain some of their language loss with treatment. UCF’s Aphasia House offers intensive outpatient therapy for individuals with aphasia.

Apraxia of speech (AOS) is a disorder that impairs the intelligibility of speech after an acquired brain injury. It affects the coordination needed to speak clearly. Therapy can help improve speech production.

Dysarthria is another type of speech disorder associated with brain injury. It affects the muscles needed for speech resulting in decreased intelligibility. Therapy can help improve intelligibility.

Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) is a rare speech disorder, sometimes related to severe head injury or stroke, in which the patient produces speech characters atypical of her/his native language or dialect.

How can UCF help?

The Communication Disorders Clinic offers services designed to assist persons with aphasia, apraxia and dysarthria. First, the individual will need an evaluation of speech.

What is the evaluation procedure?

Comprehensive evaluations will be conducted to determine what aspects of communication have been affected. For details, see Initial Evaluation.

What type of treatment do we provide?

The Communication Disorders Clinic offers comprehensive therapeutic services guided by evidenced based practices. Treatment options include:

  • individual therapy for aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, and/or acquired reading and writing disorders
  • group therapy including, but not limited to, computer re-training, book clubs, photography
  • community re-entry

Frequency of therapeutic services range from once a week, multiple sessions a week and/or intensive therapy for 6 weeks. Therapeutic options will be discussed with each client after the evaluation is completed.

Hear from clients and their families

Jeff – His spouse says, “The academic environment allows an opportunity to take more chances, do different things.”

Romeo – His spouse talks about the impact of aphasia on the quality of life.

Resources

Aphasia House at UCF
aphasiahouse.com

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: Aphasia
www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/aphasia.aspx

National Aphasia Association
www.aphasia.org/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Aphasia
www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm

Aphasia Hope
www.aphasiahope.org/

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