What is expressive aphasia?
Expressive aphasia is a language disorder characterized by difficulty producing language but not necessarily understanding it.
It often occurs after stroke – specifically strokes that damage the language center of the brain – or other brain trauma.
Let’s dig deeper into expressive aphasia and how to treat this condition.
What Is Expressive Aphasia? (Broca’s Aphasia)
Expressive aphasia is also known as Broca’s aphasia.
Aphasia is a condition that occurs after injury to the language center of the brain – often from a left-hemisphere stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Expressive aphasia is a specific subset of aphasia that occurs when the Broca’s area in the brain is affected.
The Broca’s is an area in the frontal lobe that’s devoted to language production and comprehension. It’s believed to play a heavier role in language production.
This may explain why those with expressive aphasia struggle more with producing language than understanding it.
What Does Expressive Aphasia Look Like?
Expressive aphasia manifests as a difficulty with language production and speaking complete sentences.
Here are some symptoms that someone with expressive aphasia may have:
- Struggles to find the right words
- Utters short sentences or single words repeatedly
- Finds difficulty with grammar and using conjunctions
- Reads just fine but may struggle with writing
Symptoms all revolve around the baseline inability to produce language.
Aphasia Does Not Mean Loss of Intelligence!
People with expressive aphasia can usually comprehend speech just fine.
However, due to their difficulty with producing speech, many people assume that those with expressive aphasia have lost some of their intelligence – and they have not!
If you encounter someone with expressive aphasia, speak to them like you normally would.
They can understand you just fine. Just be patient as they search for the right words to respond to you.
Treatment for Expressive Aphasia
Luckily, there’s a way to treat different types of aphasia.
Speech therapy involves retraining the brain to correctly produce and understand speech. The more you practice speech therapy, the more your language will improve.
It’s all about strengthening your brain’s language skills again.
Why Aphasia Treatment Should Be Unique for Everyone
The best speech therapy program will be unique for every person, though.
For example, a stroke patient with expressive aphasia might not struggle with comprehension, but she may struggle with sentence construction.
This person will likely benefit from sentence completion exercises and other various speech production exercises.
On the other hand, someone who struggles with understanding speech will benefit from much different exercises like naming games, etc.
Or someone who can understand and produce language just fine, but cannot control their lips and tongue, will benefit from oral motor skills exercises.
Everyone will be different, because every stroke is different.
Therefore, getting a personal, customized regimen from a speech-language pathologist or speech therapy app is key to efficiently treating your aphasia.
Summary: How to Overcome Expressive Aphasia
Expressive aphasia occurs when there is damage to the Broca’s area of the brain, which controls speech production.
Unlike other types of aphasia, expressive aphasia is mostly concerned with difficulty of speech production.
This does not mean that they have lost their intelligence. They have simply lost the ability to produce full, quick sentences.
The best way to recover from expressive aphasia is by working with a speech therapy program specially tailored uniquely for you.
Speech exercises will help rewire the brain and improve your language skills and ability to fluidly form complete sentences.