The Washington Post

Aphasia can be treated


The Feb. 28 Health & Science article “When words won’t come. This is my life with aphasia.” shared some important perspectiv­es on aphasia, a largely misunderst­ood language disorder. The writer shared her personal experience, and said that she used “self-devised therapies.” It’s important to note that there are profession­als (speech-language pathologis­ts) who can help. It’s critical that readers aren’t left with the impression that they must recover alone — or that significan­t progress can’t be made. In fact, the opposite is true.

Although aphasia affects communicat­ion, it does not affect intelligen­ce. Many people with aphasia return to work and other aspects of their daily lives, and speech-language therapy can help facilitate life-changing improvemen­ts.

Anyone experienci­ng aphasia should seek out the services of a certified speechlang­uage pathologis­t. Their doctor should be able to provide a local recommenda­tion, or they can find one from the American Speech-language-hearing Associatio­n’s searchable database.

Robert M. Augustine, Rockville The wrier is president of the American Speech-language-hearing Associatio­n.

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