June is Aphasia Awareness Month and speech therapy can help! What is aphasia? It is a communication disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to use or understand words. It results from damage or injury to language parts of the brain. Damage can occur from stroke, brain injury, dementia or other disorders of the brain. Aphasia does not impair the person’s intelligence. People who have aphasia may have difficulty speaking and finding the “right” words to complete their thoughts. They may also have problems understanding conversation, reading and comprehending written words, writing words, and using numbers. The National Aphasia Association estimates 1,000,000 Americans currently suffer from aphasia and that number will double by 2020. Do you know someone with aphasia? Speech therapy can help.
How Does Speech Therapy Help?
Speech therapy uses two approaches to treating aphasia: Impairment-based therapies focus on repairing what is broken. The therapist evaluates language strengths and weaknesses, then helps the individual exercise specific area of language impairment such as retrieving verbs and formulating sentence structure. Communication-based therapies focus on assisting the person in conveying messages and feelings with alternative means of communicating. The therapist helps identify compensatory strategies and teaches an individual to use any remaining language ability that succeeds in conveying messages. Treatment outcomes for someone with aphasia depends on factors such as age, cause of injury, type of aphasia, position and size of the brain lesion, and other factors.
Susan Duncan and Mandy Bell are two of the speech therapists at Therapy Achievements who work with people with Aphasia. They are members of the American Speech and Hearing Association and have advanced training in both impairment-based and communication-based treatment approaches. They are VitalStim and LSVT LOUD certified and evaluate each clients’ strengths and weaknesses and tailor a treatment plan to fit that individual’s unique needs.
Therapy Achievements is a Rehabilitation Center that provides Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy for Balance and Movement, Speech and Swallowing, Swelling from Lymphedema and Edema, Driving Rehabilitation and Functional Living Skills for visual and cognitive re-training. We help people with Brain Injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Lymphedema, Head and Neck Cancer, Vertigo and Dizziness, and other disorders that interfere with mobility and function. We offer VitalStim Technology, Saebo Technology, LSVT LOUD Treatment, LSVT BIG Treatment, and Neuro-Developmental Treatment.
To learn more about how speech therapy could help someone you know, call Therapy Achievements at 256-509-4398.