Some Of The Best Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients
Posted By: Becky Davis - 8/26/2019 12:00:00 AM

If you are looking for speech therapy for yourself or for a loved one, a language disorder is likely involved. Aphasia is one of the most common stroke-related speech disorders. It is important to know if this issue is affecting you or your loved one, if you need a speech therapist, and some simple exercises that can help.

What is aphasia?

This is a disorder that affects communication and speech. It is often associated with strokes, particularly those that have occurred in the left side of the brain. Those who have suffered from strokes and aphasia are not less intelligent. They struggle with speaking, reading, writing, or comprehending speech. There are several different types of aphasia that can be treated with speech therapy.

Global Aphasia

This can happen after a stroke that affects the front and back portions of the left hemisphere of the brain. People with global aphasia experience difficulty with understanding and expressing themselves.

Wernicke's Aphasia (receptive)

Stroke patients who have Wernicke's aphasia may say words that do not make sense (made-up words), make sentences out of a string of words that aren’t associated, or use words incorrectly.

Broca's Aphasia (expressive)

This type of aphasia happens when a stroke affects the frontal regions of the left hemisphere. This part of the brain is associated with how sentences are formed. Stroke patients with Broca’s aphasia may have trouble forming complete sentences, use gibberish, or speak a word that is close to something else but not correct. Patients are able to comprehend but struggle to produce the words to respond. At times, it can be difficult for them to follow directions.

Speech exercises that can help stroke patients

These types of exercises vary in difficulty and can be done with a professional or at home. Sometimes the simple ones are better than the more complicated ones. The following are some easy speech therapy exercises you can use at home. Remember that repetition is the secret to effective speech exercises.

1. Exercises using your tongue. There are many ways you can use your tongue to help you with speech therapy. You can stick your tongue out for two seconds and pull it back in or move it side to side and up and down. Repeat this as much as you can.

2. Practice in front of a mirror. You can smile and relax your mouth while looking in a mirror. This will help you get feedback on your movements. After you are done, you can make kissy faces in front of the mirror.

3. Pair vowels and consonants. If there is a consonant that you have trouble saying, pair it with each vowel (a, e, i, o, u) and say it repeatedly. For example, if your struggle with your R’s, say “ra, re, ri, ro, and ru” ten to twenty times.

4. Use word and puzzle games. Crossword and word search puzzles are great for visual processing and problem solving. Sudoku is great for comprehension. There are even apps for your phone or tablet that can help with speech therapy.

5. Sing! Singing, a right-brain function, can help those who can still speak and even those who cannot speak at all. Retraining your brain will help you strengthen the left-brain function of speaking after a stroke.

Working with a speech therapist

Some of the best speech therapy exercises for stroke patients happen with a professional. These therapists know how to give you a personalized exercise plan to help you communicate better. They may work alongside physical therapists or occupational therapists to help reach your goals. The overall goal of ALL your healthcare professionals is to help you heal.

Speech therapy for stroke patients in Amarillo, Texas

If you are looking for professional speech therapy for yourself or a loved one, Bivins Pointe in Amarillo is here for you. Our caring professionals can help with speech, occupational, and physical rehabilitation and recovery. We have a beautiful facility with private rooms, 24 hour nursing care, and other amenities. In addition, we also have our outpatient clinic, the Bfit Gym. Give us a call at (806) 350-2206 or come by 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas to tour our facilities.