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Communication tips for stroke-related disorder

Aphasia is a communication impairment that usually occurs as a result of stroke. According to the National Aphasia Association, it affects both the ability to express oneself through speech, gesture, and writing, and to understand the speech, gestures, and writing of others.

Although the condition can result from head injury, brain tumors or other neurological causes, stroke is the most common cause of aphasia.

And the most common cause for stroke is a blood clot breaking off and traveling to the brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for blood clots include a family history of clots, long periods of immobility, pregnancy and use of birth control pills.

While most birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, numerous studies indicate that pills containing the compound drospirenone carry up to three times the risk compared to other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

According to the National Aphasia Association, no two people with aphasia are exactly alike regarding the condition’s severity, their former speech and language skills, or their personalities. But it’s always essential for the person to communicate as successfully as possible from the very beginning of the recovery process.

The Association provides the following suggestions to help communicate with a person with aphasia:

  • Make sure you have the person’s attention before communicating.
  • During conversation, minimize or eliminate background noise such as television, radio, and other people as much as possible.
  • Keep communication simple but adult. Simplify your own sentence structure and reduce your own rate of speech. You don’t need to speak louder than normal but do emphasize key words. Don’t talk down to the person with aphasia.
  • Encourage and use other modes of communication such as writing, drawing, yes/no responses, choices, gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions in addition to speech.
  • Give the person time to talk and let him or her have a reasonable amount of time to respond. Avoid speaking for the person with aphasia except when necessary and ask permission before doing so.
  • Praise all attempts to speak. Make speaking a pleasant experience and provide stimulating conversation. Downplay errors and avoid frequent criticisms/corrections. Avoid insisting that each word be produced perfectly.
  • Augment speech with gesture and visual aids whenever possible. Repeat a statement when necessary.
  • Encourage the person to be as independent as possible. Avoid being overprotective.
  • Whenever possible, continue normal activities such as dinner with family, company and going out. Do not shield people with aphasia from family or friends or ignore them in a group conversation. Try to involve them in family decision-making as much as possible. Keep them informed of events but avoid burdening them with day-to-day details.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

Get more information on aphasia here: