Thursday, July 07, 2016

Myth No. 1: Aphasia and intelligence

In the next several weeks, look for occasional postings concerning myths about strokes, symptoms and survivors.

One is near and dear to my heart - aphasia.

When I had my stroke back in '98, I struggled to relearn how to speak, read and write (some people might think I'm still learning). But one very annoying aspect of this: people assumed that my intelligence was lowered because I had trouble with communication.

And that's the first myth - aphasia affects intelligence - I want to talk about. Check out these FAQs from the National Aphasia Association, starting with:
What is Aphasia?
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing.  The diagnosis of aphasia does NOT imply a person has a mental illness or impairment in intelligence.
So please, please - treat people with aphasia with respect and patience. They are still in there, intact and intelligent.

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