4 Easy Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
speech therapy after a stroke

If you or a loved one have had a stroke, you know that rehabilitation therapy is vital to recovery. It is likely you or your family member have trouble talking, coming up with words, or reading and writing. This condition is known as aphasia. You may also struggle with eating or drinking.

Speech therapy is designed to help with these issues and get you back to communicating. It is best to work with a professional speech therapist during recovery, but there are some things you can do on your own too.

What is aphasia?

This condition affects those who have had a stroke. It prevents many patients from speaking, understanding speech, thinking of words, and reading or writing. Aphasia is a result of brain damage and will show in patients in unique ways. The good news is that this condition can be treated through speech therapy, prescription medications, and art therapy, among other treatments. Not every patient will recover in the same way, but every patient should seek recovery and healing.

The key to successful speech therapy

Having a speech therapist work with you or your loved one is one of the most important steps in healing. These experts help patients find out what areas of speech they need help with and create a plan to follow during recovery. They work personally with patients to develop speech patterns, word recognition, and comprehension. You or your loved one may also be placed in therapy groups so that conversational skills can be improved. Repetition is vital in speech therapy, so it is important to attend all sessions and do exercises at home.

What kind of exercises will the therapist provide?

Although speech therapy in a professional setting is important, there are many things you and your family member can do to recover speech abilities. These include simple, repetitive exercises and adapting normal daily tasks to suit your needs. Ask your speech therapist about how often you can do exercises on your own or with your loved one.

Tongue movements

Moving your tongue in and out of your mouth, from side to side, and up and down is easy and fast. Do each movement for two seconds for the best results. For example, start by moving your tongue out of your mouth, holding it for two seconds, and then bringing it back in for two seconds. These exercises are best done in front of a mirror so you can make sure you are doing them correctly. Family members can also help with the exercise.

Singing therapy

Melodic intonation therapy, or singing therapy, allows stroke patients to sing words and sentences when they cannot speak. It is thought that this is possible because singing is a right-brain function, while speaking is a left-brain function. This typically only works for those who have had a left-hemisphere stroke.

Practicing sounds

After you have done tongue exercises, you can practice sounds. This involves repeating letters and sounds in groups or individually. For example, you can try saying one letter you have trouble speaking or pair it with the vowels a, e, i, o, and u to create other noises. Try saying these ten to twenty times each.

Other speech therapy exercises

Smartphone apps are becoming more popular when it comes to health. There are apps to help with weight loss, apps for mental health, and even apps that help with speech therapy. These can evaluate you or your loved one’s current speech abilities and provide customized exercises. Although they don’t replace a speech therapist, apps can be a valuable resource to those who cannot afford rehabilitation therapy.

Patients can also play games on the computer like solitaire or do crosswords. These help with comprehension, visual processing, and problem solving.

Adapting tasks and chores is another way you and your family member can add speech therapy exercises into your day. For example, you can say items out loud when making a grocery list or read them from a store flyer. Reading the newspaper with a family member also provides therapy opportunities. Try finding specific sections or going over the weather. Looking at family photos and remembering events can be helpful as well.

Speech therapy in Amarillo, Tx

Adding speech therapy exercises to you or a loved one’s daily routine can enhance recovery. If you or your family member have too much trouble with these exercises, ask your speech therapist how best to adapt simple tasks to your routine.

If you would like to learn more about speech therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX today by calling 806.350.2200. We offer speech, physical, and occupational therapy, as well as fitness memberships at our Bfit gym.

Bivins Pointe also has volunteer opportunities, activities and luxury amenities for all of our patients and residents.