What is a Stroke?
A stoke occurs when blood is blocked from getting to any part of your brain. The severity of the stroke depends on the amount of damage and the location of the injured area in the brain.
What are the signs of a stroke?
A good way to tell if you or someone you know is having a stroke is by remembering the acronym "FAST" from the Heart and Stoke Foundation of Canada:
Face- is it dropping?
Arms – can you raise both arms?
Speech- is it slurred or jumbled
Time- call 9-1-1 right away
After a stroke you may experience difficulty with the some of the following:
- Swallowing (coughing or choking when eating or drinking)
- Understanding the meaning of words
- Finding the words you want to say
- Weak muscles in your mouth
- Loss of speech
- Slurred speech
- Controlling your breathing
Can a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Help?
If you have communication and/or swallowing difficulties, a Speech Language Pathologist can help. SLPs work in hospitals and private clinics, as well as in the community to assess and create an individualized therapy plan.
What does therapy include?
You may experience problems swallowing food and liquid. Your SLP will assess and determine what is causing the swallowing issues, design and maintain a therapy plan for you. It may include different swallowing techniques and strategies to improve your ability swallow again.
Following a stroke, you may experience communication difficulties known as Aphasia or Dysarthria. The goal of therapy would be to recover as much speech as possible and find alternative ways to communicate such as using gestures, writing, communication chart, letter board or drawing when appropriate. Each technique used to help improve your communication will depend on the type of communication challenges you are experiencing.