When a patient sustains a stroke, brain injury, or other neurological change, he/she may experience difficulty with communication. This can involve difficulty with receptive language (comprehension and interpretation of spoken and written language), expressive language (expressing oneself verbally or in writing), or a combination of both.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) uses a variety of techniques and tools including picture communication boards, line drawings, speech-generating devices (SGD) , tangible objects, manual signs, gestures, and fingerspelling to to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings and ideas.
A brain injury can be traumatic or non-traumatic. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may result from a fall, motor vehicle, etc. A non-traumatic brain injury may result from a brain bleed, stroke, lack of oxygen, or a tumor. After any type of brain injury, the patient may experience resulting difficulty with speech, language, cognition, or swallowing. Speech therapy can assist in all these areas, and also with regaining skills necessary for returning to daily responsibilities such as working and driving.
Dysphagia affects both sensory and motor components of swallowing. Both elements are necessary for safe and proper swallowing. Swallowing disorder may result from injuries, strokes, and neurological disease processes.
A patient with a feeding disorder does not consume enough food or liquid, which in turn, affects their health. A patient with a feeding disorder may eat only a few foods, completely avoiding entire food groups, textures, or liquids necessary for proper daily nutritional consumption.
After sustaining a stroke, brain injury, a neurological change, or following another medical event, the patient may experience difficulty with memory, problem solving, orientation, thought process organization, and self-monitoring which can affect his/her ability to perform daily cognitive tasks such as management of medications and finances, cooking, and remembering important information.
Dysarthria is a speech disorder caused by muscle weakness due to damage to the areas of the brain that control the muscles for speech. After a stroke or brain injury, the patient may produce speech that is slow, slurred and difficult for the listener to understand.