At least 25% of stroke survivors have some form of aphasia (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2004) (NINDS, April 21, 2003). There are three major types of aphasia: receptive aphasia, expressive aphasia, and global aphasia (Volume II, Chapter 26). With receptive aphasia a person has difficulty understanding what is said to them. With expressive aphasia the person has difficulty communicating their thoughts to a listener. These symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on the location and extent of brain damage. Expressive and receptive aphasia do not exist in isolation. Often someone who is diagnosed with one form of aphasia will have mild symptoms of the other. When both types of aphasia are severe, it is called "global aphasia."
Currently, there are no assistive devices to help persons with receptive aphasia understand what is being said to them. However, a medical alert tag may be beneficial so that others understand the individual has a language impairment. People with expressive aphasia may use communication boards and computer systems to communicate with others (Mann and Lane, 1995).
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