Some people have speech and language problems after a
stroke. These problems may involve any or all aspects
of language use, such as speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the
spoken word. Speech and language problems, such as aphasia, usually occur when a stroke
affects the right side of the body. Trouble communicating can be very
frustrating. When you talk to someone who has had a stroke, be patient,
understanding, and supportive.
A speech-language therapist can help you get back your language skills and learn other ways to communicate. Also, the speech-language therapist may teach your family members how to improve communication with you.
If you are helping someone who has a speech or language problem, a therapist might suggest that you:
Speak directly to him or her-not to a companion,
even if that person is an interpreter-and speak in second, not third, person: "How
are you feeling today?"
Maintain eye contact.
slowly and simply in a normal tone of voice. People who have speech and
language problems are not deaf.
Give him or her adequate time to
Focus on what the person is
saying, not how he or she is saying it.
Don't fill in with a word
or sentence unless you are asked.
Ask the person to rephrase or
repeat something if you do not understand.
Put the person-not the
Limit conversations to small
groups or one on one. Large group conversations may be difficult for your loved
one to follow.
Winstein CJ, et al. (2016). Guidelines for adult stroke rehabilitation and recovery: A guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, published online May 4, 2016. DOI: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000098. Accessed June 3, 2016.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRichard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation