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  • Writer's pictureChloe Hill

Speech Therapy After Stroke - How Can Therapy Help?

After a stroke, individuals may experience communication challenges, including difficulty speaking, reading, and writing. This may impact conversations and decrease participation in life activities. About 25-40% of people who have a stroke acquire aphasia, a language disorder that impacts an individual's ability to process language. It does NOT impact intelligence. Doctor's may recommend speech therapy after a stroke. How can speech therapy help?


Life Participation: Oftentimes when individuals have difficulty communicating and participating in conversations, they stop engaging in activities they enjoy, such as calling family members, going out to eat, attending book club, etc. Speech therapy goals can target activities that are important to you and give strategies and supports to allow participation in meaningful life events.


Communication Partner Training: Communication partners, such as husbands/wives, friends, and family, are important parts of the therapy process. Communication partner training involves providing partners and caregivers with strategies to support their loved ones in conversations and in all communication interactions.


Word Finding: Many individuals with aphasia experience word finding challenges that impact their ability to participate in conversations. Speech therapy can work on strategies and help improve word-finding issues through skilled and personalized therapy exercises.


Social Language: Some individuals may experience difficulty interpreting social language and participating in conversations. People may experience reduced participation in their social lives and activities. Speech therapy can target conversational skills to allow individuals to participate in conversations and important social interactions.


Communication Supports: Visual supports, including pictures, written notes/reminders, or alternative communication systems can be beneficial to those with difficulty expressing and processing language. Speech therapy can help identify beneficial communication supports to assist in everyday life.


Home Programs: While direct speech therapy is important for building skills and learning compensatory strategies, practicing skills at home is just as important in rehabilitation. Speech therapists can provide ideas for home practice in order to support individuals with aphasia to communicate in their natural environments.


Clarity of Speech: People who have experienced a stroke may be diagnosed with a speech disorder that impacts clarity of speech. Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that involves difficulty coordinating the muscles used to produce speech. Dysarthria is a disorder that involves difficulty controlling facial muscles and/or muscle weakness. Speech therapy can work on strategies to increase clear speech.


 

Do you think speech therapy may benefit you or someone you love? Contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if speech therapy is right for you.


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