Speech and Language therapy for neurological problems such as Aphasia, Dysarthria and Apraxia resulting form brain injury or stroke.
Some people have speech and language problems after a stroke or head injury. These problems may involve any or all aspects of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the spoken word.
Aphasia is a Speech and Language problem that significantly impair the ability to communicate. These deficits vary depending on the extent and location of the damage.
Symptoms of Aphasia are:
- Inability to comprehend language
- Inability to speak spontaneously
- Inability to form words
- Inability to name objects
- Excessive use of jargon
- Inability to repeat a phrase
- Persistent repetition of phrases
- Paraphasia (substituting letters, syllables or words)
- Agrammatism (inability to speak in a grammatically correct fashion)
- Incomplete sentences
- Inability to read
- Inability to write
A patient can present some but not all of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Dysarthria is when the oral motor functioning is affected.
The following problems may occur:
- Speech muscles may be weak e.g lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.
- Speech may not be clear.
- Breathing muscles may be weaker, affecting the patient's ability to speak loud enough to be heard in conversation.
Apraxia is when the co-ordination of speech is affected. The following problems may occur:
Apraxia is divided into two sections:
1. Oral Apraxia
Oral apraxia is seen when the person is unable to perform oral musculature activities on command even though there is no interference with muscle tone or comprehension of the instruction.
2. Verbal Apraxia
Verbal apraxia is seen when the patient demonstrates the speech disturbances due to an inability to execute purposeful movements for speech. In other words the muscles are capable of normal functioning but faulty programming from the brain prevents positioning and sequencing of speech muscles to produce sounds.
- Putting sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words
- Inconsistent speech production errors
- Groping for the right sound or words
- Saying words over and over before saying it correctly
- Inconstant use of “prosody” (rhythm, stress and inflections of speech that are used to help express meaning)
- Unintelligible speech
Apraxia may not only affect the person’s ability to speak, but also writing/dressing etcetera as it is still an action that has to be planned by the brain although the source of the action is different.
These speech problems can occur individually or in combination. If you suffer from a stroke of head injury it is best to seek a Speech and Language Therapist’s advice and input.