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How Speech Therapy Helps Stroke Victims Get Their Life Back

A stroke is a serious health event in anyone’s life. It can affect a variety of different areas of that person’s life. After all, it is an injury to your brain and your brain controls many functions in the body, as well as our ability to speak and understand. After a stroke, the recovery process can be quite frustrating if our ability to speak was greatly affected. This happens to millions of people every year. So what is a stroke and how does speech therapy help?

What Causes a Stroke?

A stroke is likely to happen when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This creates a medical emergency that requires treatment immediately to prevent brain damage. Some of the symptoms include the slurring of speech, paralysis of the face or extremities, trouble with vision, headache, and trouble walking.

The functions of speech are typically controlled on the left side of the brain and because one side of the brain controls the opposite side, people might often see paralysis on the right side of the body. A lot of times the very muscles in the face, tongue, or throat are affected and this will have a large impact in that person’s ability to put together speech.

How Does a Stroke Affect Speech?

The specifics of communication problems can vary depending on where the stroke happened and how large the damage was in the area. Some of the main conditions that can happen after a stroke include:

  • Aphasia
  • Dysarthria
  • Dyspraxia

A person that suffers from aphasia may speak in short  and complete sentences, incoherent sentences, speak unrecognizable words, have trouble understanding a conversation. It can affect how you speak and your ability to understand speech. There are different types of aphasia, each has slightly different characteristics but indicate major damage to the language network of the brain.

Dysarthria involves a disturbance in muscle control that results in weakness slowness and/or in coordination in speech production. This means the muscles you use to speak are significantly weakened. Dyspraxia tends to affect movement and coordination.

How Can Speech Therapy Help?

Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists, can help regain your ability to speak after a stroke. They are specially trained to help diagnose, treat, and assess disorders relating to language, speech, cognitive communication, perception, etc.

Speech therapy is a very common treatment for aphasia. Speech therapists will go through a variety of exercises that will help the person better understand speech again. Some of the techniques used include melodic intonation therapy, art therapy, visual speech perception, and other exercises.

An in-home health speech therapist can help patients go through some of these activities as well as assigning play word-based games such as board games, cards, and crossword puzzles, practice writing, math problems, etc., to stimulate that part of the brain and strengthen the brain-body connections. SLPs can also help a stroke victim regain their ability to swallow, read, understand words, etc.

Desierto Home Health Can Help You Recover

If you or a loved one has suffered from a stroke and is now struggling with speech or cognition, give us a call and we can send one of our professional speech therapists to your home. Many of today’s speech therapy techniques are known to be effective in helping patients bounce back to normal after a stroke. Desierto Home Health has only trained professionals whose mission is to help patients recover and return to their normal life.