Bruce Willis’s diagnosis of Aphasia has drawn attention to this communication disorder that we as speech-language pathologists assess and treat on a regular basis.
Aphasia is a communication disorder that occurs after when there is damage to the brain in the part that controls language.
There are many causes of an aphasia. The most common cause is a stroke. Other causes include head injuries, brain tumours and brain infections. There are also deteriorating neurological conditions that can cause an aphasia. Bruce Willis has not given any information about the cause.
Each person’s aphasia is unique. Some people have difficulty speaking, some have difficulty understanding language and some have difficulty with both. Reading and writing can also be affected.
Speech-language pathologists are involved in the assessment and treatment of aphasia. There are many different treatment approaches including working with family members and loved ones to ensure that the person with aphasia has a means to communicate his/her wants, needs, opinions and ideas. This latter technique involves supporting conversation so that everyone with aphasia has an opportunity to participate in meaningful conversations.
We wish Bruce Willis everything of the best!