Aphasia Survivor Worried

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Dear Joyce,

My stroke was over 10 years ago, and though my cognitive skills are sharp and my stress is low, my aphasia is slipping slightly. Should I be worried and anything to do to keep the aphasia level from dropping?

Worried in Pennsylvania

Dear Worried, 

By “slipping slightly,” I believe you mean that aphasia is more prominent. 

It sounds like Expressive Aphasia when people know what they’re trying to convey but cannot communicate effectively. It is the inability to access ideas and thoughts through languagenot the ideas and thoughts themselves,  that is impaired. 

Some therapy strategies include listening to a recording of yourself speaking, repeating and rehearsing phrases, and reading out loud. In that way, you’ll know, over time, where the problems are.

For example, I had trouble with saying any words with the “scr” blend, like in prescription and subscription. I said the words over and over, and now two years later, even though they’re not perfect, I can say those words and be understood, and not have a quizzical look by the listener as I had in years past. 

One Strokefocus member says, “Most important: keep trying! Ignore anybody who tells you that in x number of months, you’ve reached your limit on improving.” 

Finally, reach out to the National Aphasia Association (https://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-id-card/). Carrying an Aphasia ID is a great way to lessen communication stress. You can customize and print an ID card for free by following the link provided below. 

The National Aphasia Association says, “You can then present the card when buying groceries, paying for gas, meeting new people, or in any other situation when you think a person might need to be informed that you have aphasia.”

Click on the link aphasia ID card to customize and print your own card at no charge. 

Please let me know how you’re doing, and best wishes with your aphasia and its improvement.

Brought to you by Strokefocus and one of its associations, Northwest Brain Network

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Joyce Hoffman is one of the world's top 10 stroke bloggers according to the Medical News Today. You can find the original post and other blogs Joyce wrote in Tales of a Stroke Survivor. (https://talesofastrokesurvivor.blog)