Drill aphasia: what it is, how to identify and treat

Drill aphasia is a neurological disorder in which there is involvement of the brain region known as Broca’s area, which is responsible for language and, therefore, the person has difficulty speaking, forming complete and meaningful sentences, despite being able to understand usually what is said.

This situation can happen more frequently as a consequence of a Stroke, however, it can also be due to the presence of brain tumors or accidents that may have involved the head. Drill aphasia can be permanent or temporary depending on the extent of the impairment. Regardless of the severity, it is very important that the person is accompanied by a speech therapist, because in this way it is possible to stimulate the Broca region and, consequently, develop language.

How to identify Drill Aphasia

In addition to the difficulty in forming sentences and with full meaning, drill aphasia has some other characteristics that allow it to be identified, such as:

  • The person finds it difficult to say words they want, making substitutions that do not make sense in the context;
  • Difficulty in constructing a sentence with more than two words;
  • Alteration of the sound of the word due to the mixture of letters, as in the case of “washing machine” by “láquima de mavar”;
  • The person says words that he thinks exists and that he thinks makes sense, when in fact it does not exist;
  • Difficulty in adding connecting words to sentences;
  • The person may have difficulty naming objects that they already know;
  • Speaks slowly and slowly;
  • Simplified grammar;
  • There may also be impaired written expression.

Although there is a compromise in speech and writing, people with drill aphasia are able to fully understand what is being said. However, as it is often difficult to establish effective communication, people with drill aphasia may become more introverted, frustrated and with lower self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to support the support of family and friends and carry out treatment together with the speech therapist to improve day-to-day communication.

How is the treatment

The treatment of drill aphasia is done together with the speech therapist in order to stimulate the drill area and, consequently, promote language development, facilitating communication. Initially it may be requested by the speech therapist that the person try to communicate without resorting to gestures or drawings, so that one can actually know the degree of aphasia. In the following sessions, the speech therapist usually performs activities to improve the person’s language, using drawings, gestures, cards, among others.

It is very important that family members and friends support the person with aphasia and adopt strategies to encourage and facilitate communication with the person. In addition, an idea is that the person with aphasia try to write in a notebook the words of the objects most used in everyday life or simply to use drawing as a form of communication. Check out other  strategies to make communication easier.

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