Characteristics of childhood aphasia can include problems with repeating heard sounds or words, poor attention, hyperactivity, poor eye contact, and difficulty understanding simple 'yes' or 'no' questions.
Aphasia can affect each person differently, from very mild to severe symptoms and communication difficulties, which can change day-to-day or even hour-to-hour. Symptoms are more prominent when people are tired, unwell or under pressure.
Aphasia may make it difficult for someone to:
- understand writing
- use numbers.
The term aphasia covers a wide range of language impairments. The three most commonly recognised types are:
- Broca's aphasia (referred to as 'non-fluent aphasia') - people can understand most speech, but may not be able to speak at a normal pace. Speech is limited to less than four words at a time. Ability to access words is impaired and formation of speech sounds is difficult. Writing can also be impaired
- Wernicke's aphasia (sometimes referred to as 'fluent aphasia') - a person may produce speech that sounds like jargon, and they may have difficulty understanding spoken words. As a result, their spoken sentences do not flow and irrelevant or unrecognisable words can be used. Reading and writing are often severely impaired
- Anomic aphasia (or Anomia) - this is a relatively less severe form of aphasia. People are often quite 'fluent' but unable to find the words for things they wish to speak about. As a result, speech often sounds empty or strange, and they use vague descriptions or indirectly describe meanings of words. Other aspects of communication are usually spared.