A language disorder, where the person experiences an impairment of power of speech, writing or signs and of comprehension of spoken or written language is termed as dysphasia. Due to the similarity in pronunciation, dysphasia is often confused with dysphagia, which is a swallowing disorder. In order to differentiate and abate confusion, the medical world often calls dysphasia by the name “aphasia”.
The literal meaning of aphasia is “no speech”. The speech impairment can vary from no speech at all to a difficulty in naming just a few objects. Children and adults suffering from dysphasia might have trouble with understanding the syntax and semantics of the language, just as they may have problems in perceiving the sounds of the words.
Usually, in problems like dysphasia, there are several other underlying information processing dysfunctions. It is difficult, yet important; to identify the ones that one particular child or person is suffering from.
Due to the problem faced by dysphasic people in understanding the semantics of a language, they may face a lot of stress at home or at school. And the problem is further aggravated as one advances through the grades. Amongst the first problems to show up is reading comprehension difficulties. The kids may initially be thought of as not paying attention in the school.
They will seem confused about what they hear and see, will miss things about them, get confused in a movie or miss an obvious point. This all is termed in medicine world as a dysphasic-like pattern. Due to these dysphasic-like difficulties, people will have difficulty with the subtleties of the language and further, in expressing themselves properly.
Such people are often seen as ones with limited vocabulary or as being non-fluent. Their language is less mature when compared to the other aspects of their development. Dysphasic people can be seen as having a history of developing language late. Though it is also observed that when given time to think, these dysphasic individuals can put forth adequate language.
People with dysphasia are often considered as illogical and their thinking processes not developed. Magical thinking is often seen amongst dysphasic people. Verbal humor is lost with the people suffering from dysphasia, while they can appreciate the visual humor. Due to the disease, the social life of the people suffering from dysphasia suffers. This might lead to rage and outbursts which are more severe than wont of in the then presiding situation.
On the basis of comprehension and fluency of speech, repetition and naming of objects, aphasia can be classified into seven broad categories, namely -- global aphasia, wernicke's aphasia, broca's aphasia, conduction aphasia, transcortical motor aphasia, transcortical sensory aphasia and anomic aphasia.
The left side of the brain is responsible for the language and communication in human beings. Any damage caused to it would result in dysphasia. Usually this damage is caused by a stroke, where blood supply to the brain gets interrupted. Other factors that might lead to the damage of the brain are a head injury, inflammation or infection or a brain tumor.
People with dysphasia will be found to having difficulty in talking, understanding, listening, writing or doing numeral calculations. Even the everyday tasks like shopping or answering the phone might be difficult for them to perform. Despite all this, they can think clearly and understand their feelings.
People suffering from dysphasia have difficulty in comprehension, reading comprehension, Language Comprehension, Abstractions (verbal), Semantic Meaning, Hierarchical Classification of Language, Complex Grammatical Structure, and Word Problems in Math, Verbal Association, Language Delay, Receptive and Expressive Language, Language Output, and Meta-linguistic Function.
As the time passes, dysphasic people may recover to some extent. Many learn to adapt to their situation and live accordingly. Speech therapy can be used effectively to improve their communication. Using techniques like talking slowly and repeating things, using gestures or drawings, and avoiding noisy areas can be of great help in dealing with dysphasia. Apart from these technical helps, the dysphasic people need a lot of emotional support.