What is Wernicke's aphasia?

Wernicke’s aphasia is a type of fluent aphasia that can occur when a more posterior part of the left hemisphere is damaged from a stroke or brain injury. It is often thought to be harder to treat than other types of aphasia, but this isn’t true. The hallmark of this aphasia is poor understanding, but fluent speech that consists of nonsense words or words with mixed-up sounds. For example, saying “She wersh complirest over againer, right?”

Wernicke’s aphasia affects the person’s ability to speak or write in real words; they have little to no understanding that they are not making sense and cannot monitor their own speech. All language skills are affected to different degrees, but disordered speech is the most noticeable to listeners. Like all types of aphasia, Wernicke’s aphasia can be mild, moderate, or severe.

Speech: The person speaks in sentences that have varying emphasis and intonation, but their words may be all nonsense or mixed up sounds of real words. There may be ‘islands’ of real words or speech may be almost all nonsense words and sounds. Repeating words and sounds is severely affected. It is NOT apraxia.

Writing: Since speaking and writing are both expressive forms of communication, writing issues will be very similar to those outlined in the Speech section. Copying words is difficult as the person forms the same letters over and over or writes in shapes instead of letters. They often do not recognize their errors.

Reading: Typically very poor or at a limited single word/phrase level at first. Reading is also limited to largely nouns and verbs. Ordering of words into a sentence relies intermittently on reading and physical characteristics of the words.

Understanding: While understanding is poor, social and contextual conversation is usually understood. Once they understand how to do a task, it’s difficult to change that task–structured activities should be replaced with indirect therapy activities.

How Can My Aphasia Coach Software Help Wernicke's Aphasia?

Learners with Wernicke’s aphasia can improve within each language system–recognizing words and sentences, copying words, repeating words, understanding spoken and written information, and more.

These exercises are designed to target specific processes that begin at their current skill level, building on existing strengths. To get the fastest results, we recommend that learners with aphasia work independently after they get started.

Where Should I Start My Aphasia Coach?
Take the placement quiz to get recommendations.

You can also try these exercises:

Noun Choice 1
Choose the defined word
Any Level 1 exercises

Practice Noun Pictures
Type picture names
Noun Pictures 1
Type picture names
Verb Pictures 1
Type action names

Repeating Nouns
Say the word you hear
Apraxia Video 1
1 syllable, 2 sounds
Apraxia Video 2
1 syllable, 3 sounds
May not be appropriate, depending on the person’s repetition ability. Start with Repeating Nouns or Apraxia Videos (while they don’t have apraxia, the word/sound presentation may be helpful)

Match the photo with the word
Verb Sentence Match 1
Match spoken sentences to photos
Picture Matching
Match the word to the picture

Not recommended.

Wernicke's aphasia can improve, even years after a stroke or brain injury. There is no plateau or 6-month time limit–you can always make progress. The best results occur when you practice My Aphasia Coach for at least 30 minutes a day.
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