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Suffolk Center for Speech


Aphasia affects spoken language

Aphasia affects spoken language, language comprehension, written language, and reading. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain-most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumors, or from infections. Aphasia has been described as the tip of the tongue feeling you sometimes get when you can’t find a word. Aphasia is not a deficit in intellect, it is only a disorder of language.

Aphasia affects over 2 million people in the United states with an estimate of a hundred thousand new cases annually. This disorder impacts more people than more common disorders such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or muscular dystrophy. This disorder can impact language output, comprehension, written language and reading ability.

Currently, reading programs for people with aphasia are limited and focus on oral reading fluency and strategies for reading. Immersion reading, however, allows for silent reading and has been studied with children and adolescents with dyslexia or are learning a second language.

What is immersion reading?

Immersion reading simultaneously highlights words and reads them outloud. This recruits more of the brains neural pathways to process written language. It is a great tool for aphasia, dyslexia, and bilingual children.

What can I use immersion reading with?

Immersion Reading is accessible on IOS and android devices. It also is located on WORD, google, pdf files, and kindles. Android devices vary in setting selections, but if you call your cellphone provider, they can assist you in turning on the appropriate settings.

Immersion reading can be used with all types of written material such as new paper articles, emails, text messages, facebook posts, and more. Any digitally written word can be read out loud and build the neural pathways in the brain.

What settings need to be adjusted to turn on immersion reading on my IOS device?

On your device click (Be sure to write down what settings you like to help put it on more devices):

  • Settings
  • Accessibility
  • Spoken Content
  • Speak Selection: ON (Don’t click speak screen)
  • Highlight Content: ON
  • Words
  • Sentences
  • Underline: ON
  • Optional: Change Color
  • Don’t turn typing feedback on


  • English ( or spanish)
  • Chose a voice that is tolerable for you.
  • Speaking rate
  • This is on a sliding scale. The goal is to give you enough time to see and hear the word to increase comprehension
  • Do not make the speech rate so slow that it breaks up individual words
  • But slow enough that there is a decent pause in between words.
  • Go back to the accessibility screen (These are all optional, find what is comfortable for you).
  • Text and Screen Size (optional)
  • Increase contrast
  • Increase size (This might not be appropriate for every person. Be sure to check with your client to see what makes seeing the whole text on the screen easily.
  • Color Filter (Gives you just black and white)
  • Button shapes

– Alexis

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