Apraxia and Aphasia Handout

SLP Insights - Apraxia of speech and aphasia handout

One time, I almost ran out of gas. I didn’t really know anything about cars, and so I turned down the heat. Turned off the radio. Unplugged the phone charger.

You see, I thought I was conserving gas.

My father later explained the concept of the gas and electric being two different systems in the car. I learned that though they are related, though one relies on the other, they are in fact, pretty much separate things.

This was a while ago. I can’t really claim to have learned a ton more about cars since then. But I do know that turning off my radio won’t increase my gas mileage.

This is how it is with the people we meet in hospitals.

Strokes are not as common as driving cars. When was the last time they or their families had to figure out the difference between Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area of the brain?

My guess? Pretty much never. Because you don’t need to know until you really need to know.

When I explain the differences between apraxia of speech and aphasia to patient’s families, I walk away wondering if they really get it. That apraxia and aphasia are two different things, and although perhaps occurring simultaneously, require two different understandings of two different brain functions.

Knowing this can mean the difference between a family member suggesting the first word of a sound vs. literally finishing every single sentence, regardless of whether or not it’s what the patient meant to say.

It can mean the difference between patience and exasperation brought on by lack of knowledge and complete confusion.

It can mean the difference between communicating with reading/writing or not communicating at all.

So here is a handout to leave them with; for them to ponder and hopefully, to spark further curiosity, questions, and conversation.

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SLP Insights - Apraxia of speech and aphasia handout