What Is Aphasia?
Aphasia is a language disorder that affects our ability to communicate. It is most often caused by a stroke that occurs in the part of the brain that controls speech and language.
How Does A Stroke Affect Speech?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die and prompt treatment is crucial. Thanks to advances in medical science, there are proven strategies and therapeutic activities that are highly successful in the recovery process.
What Are Signs Of Aphasia?
A stroke can affect people differently. Because of the organization of the nervous system, an injury to one side of the brain affects the opposite side of the body.
Signs of aphasia include:
- Trouble finding words or getting the words out
- Problems understanding others
- Difficulty with reading, writing or math
- Inability to process long or unfamiliar words
How Can Great Speech Help?
You can expect some degree of “spontaneous recovery” in the days, weeks, and months following a stroke. During this time, physical, cognitive, and communication deficits may improve on their own as the brain heals. Therapeutic intervention can enhance this spontaneous recovery.
A Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) can help improve communication skills beyond what will naturally occur after the stroke. The therapist can teach strategies to overcome communication deficits such as difficulty in understanding or producing speech correctly (aphasia), slurred speech consequent to weak muscles (dysarthria), and/or difficulty in programming oral muscles for speech production (apraxia). Some individuals may also have difficulty in social communication, such as difficulty taking turns in conversation and problems maintaining a topic of conversation.
To improve a stroke patient’s ability to understand or produce language, the therapist will work on specific drills and strategies, such as word retrieval and conversational skills. Role playing is extremely effective in re-teaching social skills which require both word retrieval and conversation. When dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing occurs, there are a host of therapeutic interventions that have proven to be successful.
Please contact us to discuss how a licensed speech and language pathologist can help start your road to recovery.
“My 69-year old father suffered a stroke and required regular speech therapy for aphasia. He lives 90-miles from me and refused to move in with my family. After careful research, we discovered Great Speech. Now I can monitor my father’s progress from the convenience of my office or home, knowing that he is regaining his abilities with minimal disruption to his life.”
Desmond M., Burr Ridge, IL