Posts Tagged by speech therapy
|February 22, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Speech, Stroke|
There is a lot to be said about aphasia, but for those affected by the condition, their words are often times not heard. Aphasia a condition that causes impairment in communication caused by brain damage from a stroke or other head trauma.
People who experience a trauma or stroke that lead to aphasia, can temporarily or permanently lose the ability to speak, write, read, or understand the spoken word. Despite the inability to communicate fully, people with aphasia are often still mentally functioning. This awareness of their newfound language struggles can make the condition all the more frustrating.
As a caregiver, it can be equally as challenging for you to communicate with a loved one living with aphasia. It is never easy to see someone you love struggle to voice what he or she is feeling, and it can leave you feeling helpless if you don’t know what he or she may need. But there is hope for both of you. With new therapies and a concerted effort to learn new ways to communicate, living with aphasia is no longer a life sentence of silence.
There are ways to help you to communicate better with your loved one who is living with aphasia and we want to share them with you!
- Be patient: Since you know your loved one so well, it may be tempting to try and finish their sentences for them when they are having a difficult time expressing a complete thought. Try not to offer words you think they are searching for right away. Be patient and give them time to formulate their thoughts. You will know when it is time to offer your own thoughts or words to help them.
- Quiet down: For people living with aphasia, background noise like a television or people talking can be very distracting. Be sensitive to that and try and provide a quiet environment in which you both can communicate. Also, don’t raise your voice. Your loved one is having trouble speaking, not hearing.
- Keep an open mind: Your end goal is to share thoughts, feelings and communicate messages between you and your loved one. Be open to new ways of doing that. Perhaps conventional methods, like speaking or writing notes isn’t working. Try drawing pictures, making gestures and using body language and facial expressions in order to portray a message.
- Find ways to verify successful communication: If your loved one cannot answer a full question, but has an easier time with “yes” or “no,” try and be aware of that. Use more “yes” or “no” questions or come up with a new method for them to express “yes” or “no.” That way you can confirm whether or not your loved one understands you (As shown on Aphasia.org).
|November 21, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Aging, Caregiving, Medical Breakthrough, Stroke|
After my grandfather experienced his first stroke, the man who was known for his sharp mind and quick wit suddenly had fallen silent. As a practicing lawyer before his stroke, his lost ability to help people through his kind and guiding words left him feeling defeated. We watched him strain to put together sentences or find ways to express all of the thoughts he was still having, only to find that his words wouldn’t come out right.
Like so many stroke patients, my grandfather lost his ability to communicate the way he once could. Aphasia, or the disorder that occurs from damage to the part of the brain that controls language, is very common in stroke patients. This can cause difficulty in the areas of both written and spoken language, and less in the area of understanding.
Not unlike my grandfather, your loved one may know exactly what they want to say, but have a hard time being able to express it. As caregivers, this can be nearly as difficult for us to find ways to comfort our loved one and help understand what they are trying to tell us.
There are different forms of treatment for aphasia. Short, but intensive rounds of speech therapy have been shown to help in the progress of patients with aphasia. Learning how to speak again can be a very challenging process for both the patient and caregiver, but new treatments are shining light on faster and more successful recoveries.
Recently, a magnetic treatment for stroke patients afflicted with aphasia that has yielded very promising results. By using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), patient’s language skills were significantly improved. TMS is a non-invasive technique that targets areas of the brain that control language, and aims to affect the activity in that area.
With continual research and studies done on aphasia and its treatment, your loved one has better opportunities to regain their sense of expressive freedom, and get back to a life worth talking about.