After a stroke you may have problems communicating with others because you do not understand the words that they are saying, or because you cannot find the right words to express yourself fully.
Communication difficulties and help
Some people may completely lose the ability to speak, but can still understand what is being said to them. The ability to read and spell and write may also be affected. When a person has problems understanding and using words and sentences which affect his / her ability to communicate, this problem is called aphasia.
Some common difficulties / features of aphasia are:
Mixing up yes and no
Saying one word but meaning another e.g. saying brother instead of sister
Getting stuck on a word or phrase over and over again
Following only parts of a conversation
Being easily distracted by noise
Slow responses, taking a bit more time to understand what is being said
Words on the tip of the your tongue
Speaking but not making much sense.
Slurred or difficult to understand speech
For others speech may become slurred and difficult to understand because the nerves and muscles of speech have been damaged. Sometimes one side of the face and tongue is paralysed or weak and can affect speech. This problem is called dysarthria.
Speech and language therapy can help you to recognise words or find other ways to communicate, like using gestures, word-and-picture charts, symbols and computers. The SLT will also show your family and friends ways of communicating with you which make it easier to get your message across.