Letters to the Editor
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:02AM
Northwestern University is launching a new intensive aphasia treatment program and, with June as National Aphasia Awareness Month, this summer is a perfect time to better understand this often unrecognized but all-too-common disorder. An acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to understand and use basic language, aphasia affects 1 in 250 people, according to the National Aphasia Association.
Adults of all ages can acquire aphasia from stroke as well as head injury, brain tumor, or other neurological causes. A new reality often accompanies aphasia, as basic communication challenges alter relationships, family roles, and work. Daily activities that involve language — including using the phone, sending e-mail, chatting with neighbors — suddenly become difficult.
Speech and language treatment is vital in helping individuals regain their language-processing and communication abilities and has been shown to be beneficial even several years following injury. Research is also critical to increase understanding of aphasia and how best to treat it to improve the fundamental quality of life. Northwestern University is proud to dedicate significant resources — including research, teaching, support groups, individual and group treatment, and one of the nation’s few intensive treatment programs — to battling this common disorder.