Aphasia Prognosis & Therapy explained
Geraldine Wotton RCSLT ASLTIP, BSc Hons, Dip Psych Couns
The outcome of aphasia therapy is difficult to predict. The extent of the stroke, the part of the brain damaged, health factors, the individuals emotional wellbeing and the presence of supportive others are the best indicators for long-term outcome.
There is a period of spontaneous recovery i.e. where as a natural result of the brain healing and a revival of the individuals health some language and speech returns without therapeutic assistance.
However Speech & Language Therapy (SaLT) should begin as soon as possible. This must be under taken by a skilled and experienced therapist either from the NHS or via the Independent sector. It is important that clients and their families ask about the therapists qualifications and experience.
At the first few meetings the therapist will undertake an assessment formally or informally.
This assessment will offer the individual insights into his or her needs, some idea as to their long term potential and the best therapeutic approach or intervention.
Where therapy is recommended it will differ according to the needs of the individual. However it is vital that the client and their family/carers feel an integral part of the process. They must ask questions about the aims and objectives of the therapy on offer and carers/partners should always be actively included.
- Aphasia therapy does work, the extent of its success however depend upon the above variables.
So please ensure you are given access to a speech and language therapist for assessment at least.