A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage or burst of an artery. With inadequate blood flow, the brain is deprived of necessary oxygen, which causes the affected brain cells to die. When brain cells die, the functioning of the body parts that they control is impaired or lost.
Possible communication deficits following a stroke include:
Aphasia: difficulty understanding or producing language, either in verbal or written form
Dysarthria: difficulty moving the muscles used for speech production due to weakness
Apraxia: difficulty planning/programming the movement of the muscles used for speech production
Difficulty with social communication (e.g. taking turns in conversation and problems maintaining a topic of conversation)
Cognitive deficits including difficulties with attention, concentration, awareness, orientation, memory, problem solving, and reasoning skills are also possible.
A comprehensive assessment will determine specific areas of impairment so that appropriate, functional treatment goals can be developed. Direct intervention can help you or your loved one learn to communicate more effectively during daily interactions and the use of compensatory strategies or assistive devices can also be trained to enhance performance.