Aphasia / Stroke
Aphasia is caused by damage to the brain and results in loss of language skills. Aphasia can affect speech production or comprehension. Reading and writing are often affected as well, as these are also processed in the language centres of our brains.
The most common cause of aphasia is a stroke, although, it may be caused by other forms of brain damage as well.
Depending on the location of the stroke in the brain, different aspects of the communication process can be affected:
- A stroke in the areas of the brain responsible for formulating speech and language can result in speech errors, substitution of words, or an inability to get the words out at all.
- If the comprehension centres of the brain are affected, the individual may or may not be able to understand what others are saying to them.
At Magnolia Speech & Wellness a typical assessment consists of gathering in depth background information and completing formal and informal assessments. Assessments are completed based upon the extent of the difficulties and needs of the client.
There are many treatment techniques to address aphasia depending on the specific impairments and severity level. Generally, treatment will consist of both structured treatment exercises and education of compensatory strategies. Structured treatment exercises are designed to improve speech and language skills through the use of practice drills, word-finding exercises, etc. Compensatory strategies are techniques taught to the individual to improve functional communication, despite impaired speech/language. In severe cases, alternative and augmentative communication techniques (such as a communication board) may be implemented. At Magnolia Speech & Wellness, our Speech-Language Pathologists create a plan of treatment to improve communication, based on the results of the assessments provided and individual needs of the client.
It is important to understand that strokes (and other forms of brain damage) are static events. A stroke is not like dementia or other disorders that get progressively worse. Unless the individual has another stroke or other health complications, they will generally continue to recover and improve after their stroke rather than getting worse. The best recovery period after a stroke is usually within the first 6 months, although progress can continue to be made after this time, especially with continued practice and growth.
At Magnolia Speech & Wellness we strive to make therapy fun, engaging and extremely functional, based on individual client needs. Consistent home practice is always highly recommended and essential in order to achieve successful results. Our services cater to the needs of our clients and their family. As a result, sessions range in length, frequency, and duration.