Aphasia is a communication disorder that often results from stroke. People with aphasia may have difficulties speaking, listening, reading and writing. Speech-language pathologists work with people with aphasia to develop strategies to help them communicate. This support may be provided through individual and/or group sessions.
Over 100,000 Canadians live with aphasia, yet the disorder is not widely known. Speech-Language & Audiology Canada would like to thank the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa for allowing us to speak with some of their clients about their experience living with aphasia.
Christina was diagnosed with aphasia following a stroke 10 years ago. Like many people, Christina had not heard of aphasia before her stroke suddenly left her unable to speak.
Originally from Germany, she lived all over the world before settling in Canada. A mother and grandmother Christina was a healthy active person prior to her stroke and enjoyed working as a tour guide. “Then suddenly there was the stroke and everything was gone.” Unable to speak following her stroke Christina moved to Ottawa to be closer to her son and chose to live on her own to maintain her independence. An important value to her, working with the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa has helped Christina to continue living independently in her own home.
When asked how aphasia has impacted her life Christina tries to focus on the positive but admits it is not always easy:
Christina is grateful she is still able to read. While she often struggles to find words and has difficulty speaking she is still able to find joy in reading. She also engages in hobbies such as playing the auto harp.
As a person who values her independence, Christina is grateful for the support she has received from the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa:
Christina encourages those living with aphasia to not give up and keep trying.
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) is the premier national association in Canada for speech-language pathology and audiology representing over 6,500 speech-language pathologists (S-LPs), audiologists and communication health assistants across Canada. SAC also champions the needs of people with communication, swallowing, hearing and balance disorders. As the largest association of its kind in Canada, SAC advocates for communication as a basic human right and the need for appropriate access to speech-language and audiology services across Canada. Click here for more information on how to find a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in your community.