If you or someone you know has suffered a stroke, you know how troublesome the results can be.
But in fact, they tend to vary widely – in some cases, the results are fairly mild, while in others they can be debilitating.
However, in every case, there are adult speech therapy treatments that can help.
Read on to find out more about stroke, and how a speech therapist can help.
What Is A Stroke?
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and is also one of the leading causes of disability.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to either blockage caused by a clot or by a ruptured blood vessel.
The brain is a highly complex organ that controls functions to various parts of the body.
A stroke can have debilitating consequences and can affect quality of life for many.
What Are The Effects Of A Stroke?
There is a common misconception that stroke occurs in the heart.
But stroke can affect the right side or the left side of the brain, and can trigger a wide variety of symptoms.
The long-term effects of a stroke can vary widely according to which part of the brain has been affected.
Depending on the location of the occurrence and on the amount of brain tissue affected, stroke can result in partial or complete loss of vision, paralysis, memory loss and speech or language problems.
Stroke And Aphasia
If you’ve had a stroke in the area of your brain that controls language and speech, it may result in aphasia.
Difficulty understanding words or sentences, or speaking sentences that don’t make any sense can be signs of aphasia.
If you have aphasia, you might be frequently misunderstood, or have people think you aren’t as smart as you used to be.
According to the National Aphasia Association, about a third of those who suffer from a stroke will have some sort of aphasia.
Have you or a loved one suffered a stroke and are having difficulty reading, speaking or writing?
You may be suffering from aphasia.
Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Recovery
Different types of aphasia have varying symptoms in patients.
Symptoms can range from difficulty forming complete sentences to using the wrong words or speaking in jumbled sentences.
Speech therapy can help with a variety of symptoms of aphasia.
Trouble understanding words or the inability to think of the “right” word in a situation can also improve with the adoption of the following useful exercises:
1. Breathing Exercises
Aphasia can cause patients to have difficulty regulating their breathing, which can cause difficulties speaking at length.
You could also find yourself taking breaths in the middle of sentences, which can affect your ability to communicate and lead to being misunderstood.
Breathing exercises can help you learn how to control your breathing when communicating.
Plan out the breaths you’ll take during a phrase, and practice sentences with breathing included.
2. Matching Pictures To Spoken Words
Do you find yourself using a word for something that’s close but not quite right to the word you’re trying to use?
If so, you can correct this by matching pictures to spoken words.
You may also have trouble bringing a word to mind when thinking of a specific image.
Looking at a picture while speaking the word aloud can strengthen the connection between words and things.
Practice saying the word aloud multiple times to reinforce the pronunciation and remember how to form the word.
3. Practicing Words & Sounds
Finding the right words and making the right sounds can be a challenge for stroke survivors.
Try repeating similar sounds together in a row, several times per sound, and then move on to the next sound.
For example: “Ah, ay, at, al, ack…”
Focus on making the sound as clear and easy to understand as possible.
Focus on producing a big sound, to strengthen your throat and be heard.
You can do the same repetition with whole words, increasing the difficulty of the word as you progress.
4. Practicing Full Sentences
If you’re recovering from a stroke, it’s likely you’ll have trouble forming complete sentences.
Practice constructing sentences, or read them aloud if you’re able.
This exercise can be combined with some of the other exercises above – for example, put a word into a sentence once you have practiced naming it using a picture.
Book An Appointment With District Speech.
Have you or a loved one recently suffered from a stroke?
If so, you may be frustrated with your newly acquired speech difficulty as a result, but there is hope.
You can improve quite a bit with these exercises and with the help of a speech therapist.
Book your appointment today with District Speech, and let us help you enjoy true freedom in your speech once more.
If you’re curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our speech and language therapists, feel free to contact us.
Until next time,
District Speech and Language Therapy
1331 H St NW, #200,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech & Language Therapy specializes in speech and language solutions from children to adults in the Washington D.C and Northern Virginia area.