If you or a loved one has recently experienced a stroke, it can have an effect on the way you communicate.
In particular, it can cause a condition called aphasia.
As speech therapists who provide neurological speech disorders therapy, we can help.
Adult speech therapy has come a long way in treating aphasia.
Let’s take a closer look at this disorder – what it is, what causes it, and how speech therapy can help.
Let’s take a closer look at aphasia.
What Is Aphasia
Aphasia is a disorder that affects your ability to communicate.
It’s fairly common – according to the National Aphasia Association, it’s more common than many other common conditions, including muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.
It can cause changes in the way you speak, and impact your understanding of both spoken and written language.
Aphasia may have a sudden onset, like in the case of a stroke or traumatic brain injury.
It may also have a slow and gradual progression if you have a brain tumor or another progressive disease.
How Can You Tell If Someone Has Aphasia?
Some of the signs you may see in someone with aphasia include the following:
- Inability to understand things they are reading
- Has trouble finding the words they want to say
- Making substitutions for words and sounds
- Speaks in incomplete sentences
- Writing or speaking incoherent sentences
- Uses altered or unidentifiable words
- Unable to understand other people’s conversation
How Does Aphasia Impact Communication?
Aphasia can affect communication in a number of different ways.
It can impact speaking, reading, and writing, as well as your ability to understand others.
Difficulty speaking might look like:
- Substituting words
- Switching sounds in words, for example saying “sitchen kink” instead of “kitchen sink”
- Making up words
- Having trouble forming full sentences
Reading and writing problems can include difficulty with:
- Spelling words
- Writing coherent sentences
- Difficulty telling the time
- Difficulty counting money
Issues with understanding may show up when others are speaking quickly, when sentences are long and complex, or when the area you’re in is noisy.
People with aphasia may also have trouble understanding jokes and humor.
What Causes Aphasia?
Although aphasia can be the result of any sort of brain injury or damage, it most commonly happens in the aftermath of a stroke.
A stroke occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain.
This can be due to either a blockage in the arteries which bring blood to the brain, or a burst blood vessel resulting in a hemorrhage.
As a result of a stroke, the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and cell death occurs.
Aphasia can also be the result of infection, a tumor, traumatic brain injury, or degenerative disease.
Temporary aphasia can occur as a result of seizures, migraines, or a temporary ischemic attack (TIA) which is a short term blockage of blood to the brain.
Can You Recover After Aphasia?
Your ability to recover from aphasia will depend mainly on the extent of the level of brain damage you experienced.
In cases of mild aphasia, it might be possible to achieve recovery without undergoing any form of treatment.
For the majority of cases, however, speech therapy intervention is generally required in order to help improve communication.
If your aphasia is severe, your doctor may recommend medication alongside speech therapy to help you recover your language skills.
In some cases, you may not fully recover, but speech therapy can still help.
How Can Speech Therapy For Aphasia Help?
If you have aphasia, speech therapy treatments can help you recover your speech and language abilities.
Speech therapy for aphasia is the most effective when it’s started as soon as possible after the injury causing it.
Your speech therapist will meet with you and your loved ones to discuss your needs, goals, and the extent to which your family can offer support.
Treatment may include one on one sessions or in a group setting where you can practice your communication skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today
If you have a loved one who has recently experienced a brain injury and is starting to show signs of aphasia, it can be scary – both for you and them.
The inability to communicate with someone might mean you’re wondering if you’re doing everything you can to help them in their recovery.
And they may be feeling scared and insecure about their inability to fully communicate what they want and need from those around them.
But you don’t have to go it alone – we’re Voz Speech Therapy and we can help.
Servicing patients in Washington, DC and the surrounding area, we offer speech therapy services which can help get you and your loved ones communicating again.
Book your appointment today, and look forward to a future of better communication.
1331 H St NW Ste 200,
Washington, DC 20005
Voz Speech Therapy is a pediatric bilingual speech therapy clinic in Washington, DC that provides individualized services based on the specific needs of your or your child. Therapy sessions are provided in English or Spanish, depending on your child’s native language. Voz Speech Therapy es una clínica pediátrica bilingüe de terapia del habla en Washington, DC que brinda servicios individualizados según las necesidades específicas de usted o su hijo. Las sesiones de terapia se brindan en inglés o español, según el idioma nativo de su hijo.