Topic 4: Aphasia

A 42-year-old man, John, was involved in car accident when he was driving on highway and hit head-on by a speeding car. After the accident, John was found unconscious trapped in the car, and later was rushed to a nearby hospital. After a series of examinations, his attending ER doctor reported that John suffered severe contrecoup injury to his brain and he was rated 4 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. He said that John’s intracranial pressure was too high and suggested that a surgery to be carried out to relieve the pressure.

John woke up from his coma after a week. He has been undergoing rehabilitation since then. After one month of hospitalization, John was sent to a nearby rehabilitation clinic where he continues to receive treatments. Now, John is able to walk with a walking stick, due to hemiplegia on the right side. He also has difficulty talking. His wife reported that, although John is able to speak very fluently, it is very difficult for John to remember the words he wants to use. He frequently uses very non-specific words such as “it”, “thing” (“那个”, “东西”) etc. When presented a pencil, he is not able to say the word “pencil”, instead he talks about its functions. But John’s neurosurgeon said to his wife that she has to wait for 2 to 3 months for the final conditions of John to become stable. Now, it is still within the “spontaneous recovery” period.

You are John’s speech therapist, and your job is to help John recover from the problems.

In your presentation, make sure you include the following components:

  • What is Traumatic Brain Injury? What is contrecoup injury?
  • Describe what happened to John’s brain.
  • What kind of speech/language disorder is John suffering?
  • What is “spontaneous recovery”?
  • What is your plan to help with John’s problem?