Speech Therapy

Treatment For Aphasia – Different Types And What To Expect

Aphasia is a neurological disorder that affects the language, expression, and causes difficulty in understanding reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Treatment For Aphasia includes programs that are exclusively designed for each patient’s need, computerized aided therapy, work with a speech therapist and practicing extensive exercises of following directions, hearing and repeating them, reading, and writing. Mainly caused by some brain injury, damage to brain, stroke, illness, infection, dementia, or other reasons, treatment for aphasia should start immediately as soon as the first symptoms are identified.

Treatments For The Condition:

  • In some cases the condition is a result of temporary and interrupted or clogged blood flow to the brain. This usually happens when a person suffers from brain injury or stroke and slowly loses the ability to speak, read, write, and express himself/herself clearly. But, in many instances this temporary condition is recovered from, without any rehabilitation with a therapist. This condition usually restores itself after a brief pause of some days when the interrupted blood flow is restored. And, within hours or days he regains the lost abilities. This is called Transient Ischemic Attack.
  • In cases where the recovery is not complete, is partial or is not as quick as it should be, a speech language therapist is helpful. As per the need of the patient he or she designs a program and improves the condition. It generally takes about or over two years for this and lot of patience is required on the part of everyone involved in it.
  • Identifying and curing the root cause of the problem is very important. Factors like age, health, extent of damage, and the part of the brain damaged plays a very important role in recovery.
  • Aphasia therapy aims at restoring the lost language abilities as much as possible, improving communication skills, and helping the patient learn other ways of communication.
  • Individual therapy aims at aiding and improving a person’s specific needs, while group therapy focuses on teaching alternative communication skills. The groups are of small size so that each individual of the group gets equal attention and time to learn.
  • Support groups, stroke clubs etc are formed to help the patients suffering from aphasia. These groups also help the family members understand and accommodate to the new challenges, demands, and life of the patient.
  • Computer aided therapy programs have shown great results in treating the condition well. It aids in learning and regaining some parts of speech like verbs. It also benefits people who have difficulty expressing themselves by providing an alternative communication system. And, finally computer therapy provides auditory discrimination exercises for people who have problem identifying the sounds from which different words are formed.

Important Tips To Be Remembered:

  • When talking to the sufferers do not use long, complicated sentences. Make use of the most simple, short, and direct sentences.
  • If he or she does not understand you, repeat the words. If needed write the words and explain the meaning.
  • If the sufferer is an adult talk to him like you talk to any other adult. Do not treat the person like a child.
  • Try to maintain a normal conversation.
  • Whenever possible, avoid distractions or minimize them. Reduce the volume of a loud television or a radio etc.
  • Do not keep the aphasia person out of regular, day to day conversations. Involve him or her into it as frequently as possible. This will improve the condition.
  • Ask them to be involved in decision makings.
  • Ask them for opinions.
  • Value the opinions of the sufferers.
  • Involve them in day to day life decisions as well as family life decisions too.
  • Converse in all forms of communications. Speaking, writing, drawing, gesturing, and pointing.
  • Try and avoid any corrections when the person is speaking. This might discourage him or her and will hinder the process of speech therapy.
  • Be patient and give the person as much time he or she wants while talking.
  • Do not restrict the person’s involvement to the house only. Go out and seek the help of support groups and take help.

These are some of the different types of treatment for aphasia and other valuable tips that can be followed to improve the condition.

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