3 Ways A Speech Pathologist Helps You Manage Stroke-Related Aphasia
If you suffer from aphasia after a stroke, then you have problems understanding or using language. As part of your treatment program, you can work with a speech pathologist to help you manage your condition and restore some of the skills you have lost.
What does a speech pathologist do to help people with aphasia?
1. Diagnose Aphasia Symptoms
People with aphasia have different symptoms. After your stroke, you might have lost some of your previous ability to understand speech and to talk. Your first step in your treatment is to evaluate which problems you have.
For example, you might have a problem selecting and saying the right words. You might not be able to speak in full sentences. You might also have problems understanding what other people say to you. Some aphasia sufferers lose some or all of their abilities to read and write.
In order to manage your condition, you need to target problems and work on them. So, your speech pathologist will run a full evaluation on you to work out what you can and cannot do.
2. Put Together a Treatment Program
Once your speech pathologist understands the extent of your problems, they create a treatment program. Your treatment can take a multi-faceted approach.
So, your pathologist might help you improve your speech and communication skills. For example, if you have problems finding the right words for things, then they might play word-matching games with you. If you find it hard to construct a sentence, they will help you relearn those skills.
In some cases, your speech therapy might also include the use of communication aids. For example, you might learn how to use gestures, writing, and communication charts to give you alternative ways to talk to people while you work on restoring your speech.
3. Work With Your Family and Friends
If your stroke has robbed you of some of your speech and communication skills, then you will feel isolated and frustrated. Your family and friends won't understand what you are going through. They might not know how to help.
Your speech pathologist can spend time with the people who spend a lot of time with you. They will explain how aphasia has affected you and how your treatment plan will work.
They help people learn how to change the way they communicate with you to make your life easier. They might teach some of your close family and friends how to go through exercises with you at home to boost your progress.
To find out more about aphasia treatments, ask your doctor for a referral to a speech pathology specialist. For more information on speech pathology, contact a professional near you.