Global Aphasia Exercises

What is it?

Global aphasia (uh-fa-zhuh) is when you lose almost all abilities to understand and use language. You may also have trouble understanding written words. Ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about the different types and causes of aphasia.


Every person who has aphasia is different. You and your loved one should see a licensed speech-language therapist. Your therapist can make a treatment plan that is best for you. Following are exercises that you and your family members can do to improve your ability to speak and write.

  • Exercise 1: Have your loved one do the following as you direct them step by step.

    • Step 1 - Touch your nose

    • Step 2 - Touch your nose and point to the wall

    • Step 3 - Touch your nose, point to the wall, and clap your hands.

  • Exercise 2: Name body parts or objects in the room and have your loved one point to them.

  • Exercise 3: Have your loved one nod or shake their head in response to yes/no questions, such as "Is it raining?"

  • Exercise 4: Have your loved one say some "automatics." Examples of automatics are counting, saying the alphabet, naming the days of the week and months of the year.

  • Exercise 5: Have your loved one sing some well known songs, such as Happy Birthday, America, and Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

  • Exercise 6: Name a word and have your loved one say a word meaning the opposite. And example is to say "not hot" and the answer is "cold."

  • Exercise 7: Have your loved one name objects in the room, such as chair, lamp, and picture.

  • Exercise 8: Describe an object and have your loved one name it. An example is to say "something used to cut paper" and the answer is "scissors."

  • Exercise 9: Have your loved one name as many items in a category as he can. An example is "fruit" and they tell you as many fruits as they can think of like oranges, apples, and grapes.

  • Exercise 10: Name three things and have your loved one tell how they are alike. An example is tiger, giraffe, and lion and the answer is "animals".

  • Exercise 11: Name words and have your loved one tell you what they mean.

  • Exercise 12: Have your loved one copy or write numbers, letters, and words.

  • Exercise 13: Show your loved one an object or picture and have them write down what they see.

  • Exercise 14: Have your loved one practice writing out information about themselves like name, address, and telephone number.

  • Exercise 15: Give your loved one a word and have them write a sentence using it.

  • Exercise 16: Have your loved one do a crossword puzzle or word scramble.

  • Exercise 17: Have your loved one match letters and/or words.

  • Exercise 18: Have your loved one match a picture to a word.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.