Aphasia is a condition which affects the brain, causing a child to have difficulties using language. Most commonly, aphasia causes a child to use the wrong word or to put words together incorrectly. It affects a child’s ability to speak and read in the same way.

Aphasia is normally caused by some form of brain damage. Typically this is as a result of a birth injury, stroke, brain injury after birth, brain tumour or a degenerative condition. There are two main categories of aphasia; receptive and expressive. A child can have either, or a combination of both.

Treatment is typically via speech and language therapy and is most successful when forming a part of early intervention. It is important to seek special educational needs advice as soon as a diagnosis of aphasia is made.

In our experience, aphasia can have a varied impact on a child’s education and can cause difficulties with depression, anxiety and social isolation. Children with aphasia are very likely to have special educational needs (SEN). In some cases, SEN additional support may be adequate, whereas in others an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be necessary.


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