Online Speech Therapy For Stroke patients
THE BENEFITS OF SPEECH THERAPY FOR STROKE PATIENTS
A common effect stroke patients experience is speech impairment. There are many forms of speech impairment stroke patients can suffer from, grouped under the general term aphasia.
Aphasia is a language disorder that can occur suddenly in case of stroke or head injury affecting the person’s ability to communicate.
A person with aphasia can have mild to severe impairments in
1. Understanding conversations,
2. Naming objects, places, people,
3. Difficulty in expressing oneself when speaking or writing,
4. and putting words in order.
Aphasia can affect a person’s quality of life as communication plays a vital role in one’s life. Once the primary cause is treated, the main treatment for aphasia is Speech therapy.
One-third of stroke survivors have some difficulty with speaking and understanding what others have to say.
At Sounderic we aim to-
Strengthen the intact language skills, restore lost language abilities, and compensate for impairments by teaching various strategies.
Provide online interactive therapy sessions through an accessible and convenient online delivery model where they can practice their conversation skills. The therapy sessions are individualized to meet the specific needs of the client.
We focus on assessing and improving:
Cognitive skills such as memory or problem-solving.
Social skills, interacting with other people.
Psychological functioning to enhance coping skills and treatment to overcome depression if needed.
We encourage the family to be a part of therapy so that they can practice the skills learned in the session at home.
Stroke speech therapy exercises-
Here is a list of few speech therapy exercises that you can do at home:-
A common symptom of aphasia in stroke patients is difficulty in regulating breathing while speaking, making the person take breaths in the middle of sentences, thereby leading to difficulty in speaking at length and being understood by others.
breathing exercises help you regulate your breathing while speaking. Practice planning out the breaths you take while speaking.
Tongue Strengthening Exercises
Another difficulty patients with aphasia face is formation of words. Tongue stretches and exercises strengthen the muscle and make it easier for stroke patients to produce the proper sounds to form words. It also helps to strengthen the “muscle memory” of speech that patients can lose after having a stroke.
One such exercise is sticking your tongue out, you can simply push your tongue out and leave it there for a few seconds and repeat.
You can also strengthen the tongue side by side. Try touching various areas of your mouth to strengthen the ability to control your tongue.
Practicing Speech Sounds
Making the right sound and pronouncing the right words is difficult for patients with aphasia.
Practice repeating similar words like 'Ah, ay, at, al, ack… etc.'. Repeating such sets many times in a row helps in stimulating your mouth and tongue in forming sounds and words.
The primary focus here should be on clarity of the sound (making them as clear and understandable as possible) as well as on the strength (make it loud to strengthen the throat).
As for some people physical formation of words is difficult, other patients struggle with forming a word they are thinking of.
In order to strengthen this connection you can practice looking at pictures and naming the object the picture depicts.
It helps you connect the image to the word in your mind and it also helps you improve your speech and pronunciation of those words. Repeat the word several times so you can grasp the association with the picture along with correct pronunciation of the word.
Forming single words isn't always the issue faced by stroke patients, sometimes the person may face issues with forming complete and correct sentences.
When you practice pronouncing certain words, you can also try forming sentences with those words. Another way is linking sentence formation with naming pictures, when you name the picture cards you can also form a sentence on the object in the picture.
The more you practice sentence formation, it will be easier for you to link speech to communication post-stroke.
Brain exercises for stroke recovery
Playing some board games
It is a great brain activity as it requires concentration and memory skills. It also encourages cognitive skills like problem-solving, information retention and analytical thinking.
Besides helping with cognition, it also provides stroke patients with an opportunity to socialize and spend time with their loved ones. It reduces anxiety, depression, boredom, and stress.
It helps with shape recognition, hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Puzzles enhance short term memory and reinforce existing connections in the brain.
You can start by trying out puzzles with fewer and bigger pieces, then move on to more challenging ones.
Have fun with brain teasers
Brain teasers such as word searches, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles are a great way to exercise the brain for stroke patients. They encourage the use of quantitative reasoning, problem-solving and analytical thinking.
Drawing, coloring, and painting are fun, and they stimulate creativity, analytical skills and relieves stress. It is also a good medium through which stroke patients can express their emotions.
Cook and try new recipes
Cooking and learning recipes can help stroke patients to put their brain to work.
Cooking allows us to use various senses like touch, taste, smell, and sight. It also helps enhance memory and thinking as the person has to remember and carry out the recipe steps.
A plus point is you get to enjoy the food after cooking it.
You can opt for online speech therapy if you or someone you love has suffered a stroke and is now experiencing mild to severe communication difficulties
At Sounderic, we have the best speech therapists who have experience in working with stroke patients. A licensed speech therapist with relevant experience can identify the problem areas and create a custom therapy plan for most effective post-stroke speech recovery.