June is National Aphasia Awareness Month! What is aphasia, you might ask? As defined by Aphasia.org:
Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain-most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumors, or from infections.
Reasons for someone developing aphasia also include other neurological causes, such as dementia. There are two different types: expressive aphasia is when the subject has lost the ability to speak and write and receptive aphasia, where the individual cannot always understand spoken or written words. It’s essentially a disconnect between the parts of the brain that process language (spoken or written) and the mouth, eyes or ears.
In 2007, the comic strip For Better or For Worse began a story line wherein the main character’s elderly father has a stroke and, as he begins to recover, he struggles with aphasia.
You can find all of the For Better or For Worse comics relating to this stroke/aphasia story line here.
Cover image originally from National Stroke Association’s website, where you can also find suggestions for how to support those with aphasia and work towards ending preventable strokes. Tell us how you recognize National Aphasia Awareness Month!