The social isolation of aphasia

Aphasia can be frustrating and socially isolating.

People with aphasia are typically adults, with a full range of complex ideas and emotions to express. The loneliness of aphasia — which often keeps people from expressing themselves fully, and even from being recognized as thinking, feeling members of society — can be profound. Language impairment makes it hard to participate in almost any social situation, whether it is making small talk, introducing oneself to potential new friends, or sharing ideas and feelings with longstanding friends and even close family members.

Aphasia centers and support groups can play an important role in overcoming this isolation. So can assistive technology. How? Some communication aids can provide high-frequency phrases (“How are you?”, etc) necessary for social interactions. Others can allow the person with aphasia to practice scripts on particular topics, for use in conversations.  And, finally, some aids — such as SentenceShaper — can also help you create messages to share with others on the Internet or in person.