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In-Home Therapy for Aphasia - Stroke Rehab and Swallowing

What is Speech Therapy for Aphasia?

Aphasia is an impairment of language caused by injuries to the brain—most commonly by stroke, but can also be caused by head trauma, brain tumours, and infections. Aphasia is most prevalent in older individuals and affects their production and comprehension of speech, as well as their ability to read or write. In most forms of aphasia, the person’s cognitive and intellectual capabilities unrelated to speech remain fully preserved.

Speech Therapy can help individuals affected by aphasia to regain their communication skills.

There are three main types of aphasia:

  • Broca's Aphasia
  • Wernicke's Aphasia
  • Global Aphasia

What is Broca's (Expressive) Aphasia?

This type of Aphasia can be caused by injuries to what is often described as the Broca’s area of the brain — a region in the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere with functions connected to speech production.

Individual's affected by Broca's Aphasia:

  • Experience difficulty in speaking fluently— these individuals are unable to form grammatical sentences, limit their speech to short utterances consisting often times of four words or less, and struggle to produce the correct sounds or words. Some people experience more difficulty in using verbs than nouns.

  • Can comprehend speech with relative fluency, especially when spoken in a simple structure like the active tense and struggle comprehending more complex sentence structures like the passive tense.

What is Wernicke's (Receptive) Aphasia?

This type of Aphasia can be caused by injuries to what is often described as the Wernicke’s area of the brain — a region in the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere with sensory functions related to comprehending speech.

Individuals affected by Wernicke's Aphasia:

  • Are capable of producing words and sentences that are often grammatical, but experience immense difficulty comprehending spoken words and sentences. They may fail to realize when they are using incorrect or non-existent words, and when their speech is not making sense.

What is Global Aphasia?

This is the most severe form of aphasia as it caused by injury to the perisylvian cortex (the brain tissue that divides the frontal and temporal lobes), which includes multiple areas of the brain that concern language-processing functions including both the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas.

Individuals with Global Aphasia:

  • Experience difficulty with receptive (the ability to understand information) and expressive (the ability to produce information in the form of words and sentences) language communication skills. They are unable to read or write, and can produce few spoken words and comprehend little to no spoken language.

Dysphagia (Swallowing Difficulties)

Dysphagia refers to any difficulty swallowing. Some symptoms of dysphagia can include:

  • Having pain while swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Being unable to swallow
  • Having the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat or chest or behind your breastbone (sternum)
  • Drooling
  • Being hoarse
  • Bringing food back up (regurgitation)
  • Having frequent heartburn
  • Having food or stomach acid back up into your throat
  • Unexpectedly losing weight
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing
  • Having to cut food into smaller pieces or avoiding certain foods because of trouble swallowing

A Speech Associates speech therapist can assess the needs of the client with regards to their communication skills, and note any other obstacles like eating and swallowing difficulties.

For more information contact our main office at: 416 800 4259 for a consultation with a speech-pathologist or email us at: