Finding the Right Words: Treatment for Aphasia after a Stroke

Suffering from a stroke is scary enough, but the impairments that may result from a stroke can be just as frightening. Aphasia is one of the most common language disorders caused by strokes and includes difficulty speaking, reading, writing or understanding speech.

Saint Francis Healthcare’s Stroke Rehabilitation team assists with stroke recovery including speech language therapy for people with aphasia. The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the U.S., has recognized Saint Francis for our efforts in attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

Saint Francis speech language pathologists (SLPs) treat and help patients with aphasia to improve communication skills following a stroke. SLPs design your treatment based on the type of aphasia you have and assesses your ability to do the following:

  • Understand words, questions, directions and spoken stories
  • Name objects
  • Describe pictures
  • Engage in conversation
  • Read and write
  • Gesture, draw and point

There are different types of aphasia and your treatment will depend on what type you have. Expressive aphasia is difficulty finding the right words to say. Receptive aphasia is trouble making sense of printed words or what someone else is saying. Anomic or amnesia aphasia is when the person has trouble finding the right word for objects, people, places or events. The most severe type, global aphasia, is when there is significant damage to the brain and the person cannot read, write, speak or understand speech.

Your SLP will work with you to improve your communication skills and may do one or more of the following during your treatment:

  • Retrain you to retrieve words
  • Work on initiating and holding conversations with others
  • Role play communication situations in the community and at home such as talking on the telephone or ordering a meal in a restaurant
  • Use augmentative or alternative communication such as gestures, pencil and paper, picture communication boards or programs on laptops or tablets that generate speech or written communication

Speech language pathologists are available at Saint Francis Hospital or through our Home Care program, which provides adaptive tools and teaches the patient and family how to adjust to lifestyle changes. A Saint Francis SLP can help you relearn speech, writing or how to use alternative methods of communication.

Call us today at 302.421.4828 for more information on stroke rehabilitation, speech therapy or Home Care services.

Categories: Blog