If your loved one has recovered from a recent stroke, they may still have speech deficits to overcome. Strokes can have a devastating effect on speech. When the muscles responsible for tongue, lips, and mouth movement are weakened, it results in a condition called dysarthria. Unfortunately, dysarthria can cause severe speech deficits, which is where speech therapy comes into the picture. Speech therapy is an integral part of stroke recovery, especially when there are significant deficits.
Obtain a Detailed Assessment
If your loved one is recovering from a stroke, you may have noticed their lingering speech deficits. What you might not realize is that the muscle weakness that's causing the speech deficits could also be affecting other areas. One of the benefits of speech therapy is that your loved one will receive a detailed assessment. This assessment will include their speech deficits, but it will also assess areas such as swallow and chew reflexes. This assessment can help ensure the right treatment for your loved one.
Work on Specific Deficits
If your loved one is recovering from several deficits associated with their stroke, you want to make sure that each issue is addressed. That's why speech therapy is so beneficial to people who have had a stroke. You might think that your loved one's speech therapist will only work on the speech deficits, but that's not the case. Speech therapy will include exercises that target specific deficits, including speech, swallow and chew reflexes. Targeted treatment improves the chances for a complete recovery from stroke-related speech deficits.
Include Family Involvement
If your loved one is recovering from stroke-related speech deficits, you want to be involved in the treatment. One of the benefits of speech therapy is that there is room for family involvement, especially where exercises are concerned. Your loved one's speech therapy will include exercises that they'll need to do at home. You and the family can participate in those exercises. In fact, you can help keep your loved one focused on their treatment, which increases the chances for a successful outcome.
Develop Greater Independence
Finally, if your loved one is struggling with the loss of their speech, speech therapy can help them regain their independence. Speech deficits can affect every aspect of a person's life. In fact, they can cause problems with self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. Speech therapy can help your loved one regain their speech, which will put them one step closer to a full recovery.