Explaining Aphasia to Children
In 3 minutes and 18 seconds, Melissa Saylor’s young son explains his mother’s aphasia. Using simple words and clear explanations, he does what some adults find difficult, taking a complicated subject and making it easy to understand.
We were thrilled when Melissa shared her video with us so you could see it, too.
How Should You Explain Aphasia to Kids?
Stick to the facts you know. There are so many unknowns with aphasia, and no one can predict the future, so stick to the facts you know now. Additionally, aphasia presents differently in each individual, so make sure you only state the problems the person is experiencing. Explain that aphasia affects a person’s ability to speak, read, and write and that they may or may not have difficulty understanding someone else’s words.
You can open your conversation about aphasia by discussing the underlying cause, such as a stroke or head injury. Make sure your child can ask questions and express their fears so you can reassure them.
One important point is that the person with aphasia is still the same person they were before experiencing communication issues. Aphasia affects the ability to speak and write but not the person’s intellect.
Or, as Parker says in the video, it may be hard for his mother to say the names of his toys, but she can still get on the ground and play with him because she is still the same, fun person on the inside.
Photo by Ryan Wallace on Unsplash
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