What are aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria and Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that control language and speech. Aphasia may result in the following difficulties:

  • thinking of words
  • forming words
  • formulating sentences
  • understanding speech
  • reading and reading comprehension
  • writing/spelling

Aphasia is not a loss of intellect but rather a loss or impairment of language. Aphasia may occur after a stroke, brain tumor, trauma or disease that affects the brain tissue. Persons with aphasia can regain some of their language loss with treatment. UCF’s Aphasia House offers intensive outpatient therapy for individuals with aphasia.

Apraxia of speech (AOS) is a disorder that impairs the intelligibility of speech after an acquired brain injury. It affects the coordination needed to speak clearly. Therapy can help improve speech production.

Dysarthria is another type of speech disorder associated with brain injury. It affects the muscles needed for speech resulting in decreased intelligibility. Therapy can help improve intelligibility.

Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) is a rare speech disorder, sometimes related to severe head injury or stroke, in which the patient produces speech characters atypical of her/his native language or dialect.

What is the evaluation procedure?

A comprehensive evaluation will be conducted to determine what aspects of communication have been affected. This evaluation is scheduled for two hours. In addition, all potential clients are asked to complete a case history form to assist in preparation of the UCF evaluation.

If you already have received a speech and language evaluation at another location within the past three months, please send us the report with your case history form. This will allow us to determine if or what additional diagnostics need to be completed.

In addition, we will need relevant medical reports from previous speech/language evaluations. We will also need radiological reports (e.g., swallow study reports or written results of brain scans).

What type of treatment do we provide?

The Communication Disorders Clinic offers comprehensive therapeutic services guided by evidenced-based practices. Treatment options include

  • individual therapy for aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, and/or acquired reading and writing disorders
  • group therapy including, but not limited to, computer re-training, book clubs, photography
  • community re-entry

Frequency of therapeutic services range from once a week, multiple sessions a week and/or intensive therapy for six weeks. Therapeutic options will be discussed with each client after the evaluation is completed.

Hear from our clients and their families

Jeff – His spouse says, “The academic environment allows an opportunity to take more chances, do different things.”

Note: “www.ucfspeechlanguagetherapy.com” has been changed to healthprofessions.ucf.edu/cdclinic.

Romeo – His spouse talks about the impact of aphasia on the quality of life.