Health & Nutrition, physical therapy, Uncategorized

Living in a World Without a Voice

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week, I know this week flew by for me! To put a great end to the week, I have something NEW coming for you all!

With health and fitness a high priority and passion of mine as well as being a future physical therapist, I thought it would be a great idea to share my knowledge and passion with you all. At the end of every week I’m going to start a Fun Fact Friday; sharing a piece of my knowledge in the field of physical therapy and fitness with you all!

June is National Aphasia Awareness month, so I thought this would be a fantastic topic to start my series off with!

Each and every day we use our voice to not only communicate with other individuals, but also to express ourselves. This is an effortless task, one that takes little thought at all. You’re able to order your Starbucks coffee just the way you like and express to your friends and family how much they mean to you. Now imagine waking up one more and the ability to speak was completely taken away from you. You can hear people talking around you but you are unable to truly understand what they are saying.

This is what someone with aphasia experiences, which is more than 2 million individuals in the United States and 84.5% of Americans state they have never heard of the term “aphasia”.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is classified as a communication disorder often caused by stroke or brain injury making it difficult for an individual to use and/or understand language.

As someone who aspires to work with patients whom have suffered a brain or spinal cord injury being aware of this disorder is crucial for my future as a physical therapist. As a physical therapist there is very little we will do personally with the patient to treat this disorder. Though, in the case of a patient whom has had a stroke or injury to the brain/spinal cord they may be suffering from a vast array of other symptoms which may be treating. In the case this patient has aphasia this presents us with a new barrier in our treatment. How will I as the therapist communicate with my patient, making sure they are comfortable and understand all which is happening?

In the case of a patient with aphasia, it it more important we as therapist have strong understanding of the disorder and are able to express sympathy for our patients. It is also imperative we collaborate along side the patient’s other healthcare professional’s , such as the Speech Language Pathologist.

I think it is super important more people understand and are aware of this disorder, given it’s high prevalence in our population. It is vital we continue to spread awareness and bring attention to aphasia, recognizing the many individuals whom are living with or caring for someone with aphasia.

I hope you found this post valuable and if you are looking to find more information on aphasia, please visit the National Aphasia Association.

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