Aphasia Sufferers Are Talking Back!

Manila Bulletin, January 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

Aphasia Sufferers Are Talking Back!


ONLY a few have heard of it. And yet we encounter every now and then those who suffer from it. Aphasia is an ailment that is caused when the left side of the brain is impaired.

As a result, aphasics - those who are affected by the disorder - in general have difficulty speaking, understanding, and even reading and more so, writing.

Aphasia is either caused by a stroke, aneurism, tumor, head injury as a result of an accident, or infection.

Neurologists say that the left side of the brain controls speech and language functions. And when this is damaged, the victims - depending on the extent of the injury - exert too much effort to speak - often in murmurs - find the right word either in writing or talking, and even spelling simple words or understanding numbers or figures.

But today - thanks for the formation of Aphasia Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. - Aphasia sufferers are literally and figuratively talking back.

They are talking back because most of them are regaining their speech faculty, and at the same time showing their determination to overcome their ailment and respond to treatment.

Their rehabilitation is administered by doctors, trained speech therapists and other health professionals.

Rehabilitation

It is incumbent upon the family to understand the condition of an aphasic. His progress and effort to go back to his normal activities largely depend on several factors.

Foremost of these is the care extended by the immediate members of the family. It is ever recommended by doctors that they and their caregivers should have participatory roles in the treatment.

Another important aspect of the overall rehabilitation aside from those given by doctors, therapists and health professionals is psychiatric treatment. Most aphasics suffer from depression even if there is significant progress in their rehabilitation.

Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca Jr., a noted psychiatrist, said that the psychiatric angle is often the "missing element" in the sufferer's recovery effort.

It is noted that sustaining the rehabilitation means the ever presence of physical therapists and speech pathologists. …

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