I have aphasia

Young stroke survivors talk about aphasia and how they manage it.

Some of the topics discussed will get you thinking about your own experiences. If you feel any distress, talk with someone you trust—perhaps a family member, friend, or your doctor. If you need support, information or advice StrokeLine’s health professionals are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, AEST. Call StrokeLine on 1800 787 653 or email strokeline@strokefoundation.org.au. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 44.

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Video transcript

Emma: I’ve got aphasia and it’s caused by the language centers of the brain. Difficulty reading. Speaking. Comprehend. And I was telling to myself, what’s what’s wrong with me? I, I can’t speak, but my words make no sense. And they’re in my head, but I can’t get the words out. Yeah, it was very, very frustrating.

Shannon: My aphasia affects my verbs. So describing words and that sort of thing. So I had to have my family with me when I was making important calls because I have aphasia. So I can’t get the words out quickly and fluently.

Emma: My aphasia was very hard for me to tell me what was wrong. I didn’t know that it was called aphasia. I didn’t understand. About 12 months after my stroke. So, yeah, that was really a light bulb in my head saying “You’ve got aphasia!” Being with the friends that I’ve got through the Maitland Aphasia Communication Group. Just every day we’re laughing and talking and … Yeah, I’m just so thankful that I have them.

Catherine: Definitely Cheltenham Aphasia Group. When I first went there, I was like … cos everything when I went … I had 14 months of rehab. And then they said, okay, you’re ready to leave. And I was out. And I was like “What now?” And then they said there’s a group you can go to. And I’m … So I went and I got more confident. And also I made friends.

Emma: So the bin challenge was my idea. I put a piece of paper that said aphasia is loss of language, not intelligence. And I just read this thing that I needed to say. It’s gone viral. I’m really thankful that I get to spread the word about aphasia.