Stroke and its affect on speech

Stroke and its affect on speech

Stroke occurs when part of the brain losses its blood supply. Depend of the lesion that effect results can be change. A person with high blood pressure are more prone to have strokes. Also head injury also leads to stroke.

All those scenarios will damage the brain, which is the central unit of the body and is in charge of different functions

In transient Ischaemic attacks or mini stroke you will get the warning signs. Its a medical emergency take necessary medical actions

Early Warning Signs of a Stroke

Always remember F.A.S.T so you can save someone life

  1. Face drooping
  2. Arm weakness
  3. Speech difficulty
  4. Time to Call 1990/911

As a Speech Language Pathologist, I have witnessed many patients with stroke/ brain damages that has ultimately affected their speech function. These are conditions such as Aphasia, Dysarthria..etc

In all these conditions they will have some sort of speech difficulty along with poor muscle strength. Some patients will,

  • Answer totally unnecessary things when we ask something but they can understand what we asked.
  •  Few are unable to understand what we asked.
  •  Difficulty in naming,
  •  Difficulty in repeating
  •  Slurred speech
  •  Poor speech clarity
  •  Inability to speak in mother tongue but good at secondary languages….

When brain is damaged it is difficult to function as before because it damages the neural system. Depending on the location and the severity of the damage, the symptoms will also be different from person to person.

Changes after stroke

1) Physical changes
2) Cognitive changes
3) Behavioral changes

1) Physical changes can be noted very easily

Few may have paralysis in one part of the body due to stroke. Others will have poor muscle strength which leads to difficulty in performing day to day activities as before. When it affects the speech muscles, the speech will be unclear,slurred…

Few of them have hearing and visual deficits depending on the location which the brain injury occurs. Spasticity and tremors can also be seen with them.

Apart from that they will have fatigue and weakness so they won’t be able to preform as before and they get tired easily.

If brain damage leads to paralysis then their mobility will be affected, so they may need wheelchairs or some sort of support to move from one place to another.

2) Cognitive changes

Most of them will have memory issues because damage to brain will affect the memory.
They will be having issues related to taking decisions, thinking, planning and sequencing an event , all due to the lesions which are damaged in the brain.

3) Behavioral changes

All above facts will affect the person to a significant extent. He/she was independent before the brain injury and in this new situation they are totally/partially dependent on others. This makes a huge impact on the person and it belittles their self-esteem. He/she may feel they are not worthy anymore…

Due to all those changes he/she will try to avoid social gatherings. In a situation like this all the family members need to show serious care for the patient and the emotions of them.

When they feel they are all alone, they will be frustrated and might show anxiety behaviors on the family members so try to talk to them or play some board games with them. Don’t treat them as a child because that will make them more angry.

All these matters need to be sorted out in a good manner. Because the patient was a normal human and all sudden he/she has become totally dependent in this situation.

Communication plays a big role with a person who is suffering from brain injury because it is the main bridge to express his/her needs.

Start speech therapy as early as possible for speedy recovery. There are moments in our life where there is only a small time window, so use it effectively...

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