Aphasia is sometimes classified as an “invisible” condition because a person cannot instantly see that someone has aphasia. Yet aphasia is anything but invisible to people who have it.


We asked people with aphasia what aphasia looks like, and this is what they said in our Aphasia Cafe chat.

What Do You Imagine?

What image pops into your head when I say the word “aphasia”? Is it your own face, a whiteboard, an app, or maybe your support group? Tell us what you visualize in your head when you hear the word “aphasia.” Write down YOUR answer before you continue reading.


A face that has no words coming out. —Brooke A

I see myself not being able to say what I want to. The thought is there, just not the words to come out! —Donna B

Brain and speech disconnect. —Derek S

Scrabble —Jerry M

Conquer —Kevin K

Writing words with mistakes with a computer. —Matt M

Aphasia Cafe —Dale M

The Physical Objects of Aphasia

You may not be able to see aphasia, but you can see objects or places that are part of aphasia. List a few objects or places that give people a peek into aphasia. (For example, communication apps, clinics, support group friends.)


Again, write down YOUR answer before you continue reading.


Friends and support groups. —Betsy M

My wife answering for me. —James B

Internet, carer (husband), dictaphone. —Julia B

Short script about my stroke and aphasia on my phone to show to people, card about aphasia, Tactus app. —Kai C

Support group friends (but right now, I’m only one in my assisted living place). I’m in a wheelchair. —Peter G

Aphasia Through Your Eyes

Tell us what aphasia looks like through your eyes. One last time — write down YOUR answer before you continue reading.


Everything is scrambled. —Mac B and Jim M

A road ahead. —Elizabeth H

It’s like someone is trying to goof on my brain. —Bruce L

Hide —Kania

Through my eyes, I see that the words DISABILITY and APHASIA are beautiful words and blossoming. Not that the negative stereotypes and stigmas of the word don’t exist, but that we carry a strength and a wisdom that is unique to us. —Maya R

A jail. A huge wall. A shame. A fear. An isolation. Hopeless. A war. A victory. A pride. Myself. My identity —Ziv

A steady and unrelenting uphill climb. —Robert M

A glass ball with me looking out into the world —Trazana S