SAC Profiles: Living with Aphasia - Mark

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.

Mark began noticing symptoms of aphasia about 4 years ago. He has lost his ability to read and write and has recently started working with the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa.

A historian by profession, aphasia has had a profound impact on Mark’s day to day life and he worries about whether he will experience more changes in his ability to communicate in the future.

The father of two has tried to seek out alternative forms of interest such as drawings which he calls “doodles” that he uses to help him express himself. He has also found podcasts helpful in filling the void left by the loss of his ability to read independently. “I can listen to many of the same things that previously I would have done silently.”

Mark has just started working with the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa and is hopeful the staff at the Centre can provide some guidance and assist him to live with aphasia.

While he is very much aware of how much he has lost because of aphasia, Mark wants people to know that there are also important and interesting things he has come to enjoy through his experience living with aphasia.

Mark tries to focus on what he can do in the moment and plan for the days to come. “There are days when I have to admit that I feel like I am just falling apart, but there are other days where I feel quite at home.” 

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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.