What it is
Speech therapy, provided by a speech pathologist, helps a person improve his or her ability to communicate; this includes speech, which is how sounds are made, and language, which involves understanding and choosing the correct word to use.
How it works
Stroke that occurs on the left side of the brain can affect speech and language abilities, as well as movement on the right side of the body. The main goal of speech therapy is to restore the stroke survivor's ability to communicate accurately, by treating the following areas:
- Speech - a stroke survivor with speech problems has difficulty producing sounds so that others can understand him or her.
- Language - is the use of symbols, such as words, numbers of gestures that have meaning. A stroke survivor may have trouble understanding or correctly choosing words or numbers or gestures.
- Cognition, or thinking skills - in order to communicate accurately with others, a stroke survivor must be able to pay attention, concentrate and use various thinking skills.
- Swallowing - a stroke survivor may have difficulty controlling tongue and swallowing. The muscles in the tongue and throat are the same ones used in making sounds. Therefore, therapy that helps speech can also help swallowing.