Sign language aphasia in a non-deaf-mute

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Abstract

Article abstract

A 19-year-old left-handed man, who was raised by deaf-mute parents and learned sign language concurrently with normal speech, sustained a traumatic cerebral contusion. He subsequently had no evidence of apraxic, visual-spatial, or sensorimotor deficits of the left limbs with which he was accustomed to use signs. Globally aphasic with a dense right hemiparesis, he initially recovered sign language to a greater degree than spoken language with a reversal on follow-up observations. Receptive skills improved to a greater degree than expressive skills with no marked difference between verbal and sign language, but with natural signs better preserved than finger spelling.

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