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what is a stroke?

A stroke occurs after there is a disruption of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. A stroke affects people differently but often results in some communication, emotional and/or physical changes.


Individuals may experience difficulties with the following:

  • Speech (difficulty coordinating the lips/tongue/voice)

  • Language (speaking, understanding, reading & writing)

  • Cognition (attention, memory, problem-solving)

  • Visuospatial skills (e.g. visual neglect)

  • Social Communication/Pragmatics

  • Swallowing difficulties 

Treatment is highly individualized and often includes family/caregiver training, direct treatment and practice, strategy instruction including supported conversation techniques, environmental modifications, and real-life practice. 

True recovery is creating a
life full of meaning. – Unknown


Aphasia is an impairment of language that impacts a person’s ability to express and understand many aspects of language. This can impact someone’s ability to understand what one hears or reads, or the ability to express oneself through speaking or writing.​​​


  • Trouble finding the right word

  • Speaking in short words or phrases

  • Substituting words that sound similar or are similar in meaning

  • Unintentionally using made up words


  • Difficulty following directions

  • Difficulty understanding what others are saying 

  • Trouble with answering questions


  • Trouble identifying letters or sounding out words

  • Difficulty reading words or sentences

  • Difficulty understanding paragraphs or long texts


  • Difficulty with spelling or writing out words and sentences

  • Problems with grammar and punctuation 

  • Writing coherent paragraphs

Apraxia & Dysarthria

A person with Apraxia of Speech has difficulty coordinating the movements of the tongue, lips and/or jaw. This difficulty with initiating and sequencing sounds may cause the person to speak slowly or haltingly as they attempt to articulate a word. 

A person with Dysarthria may have weak, paralyzed or uncoordinated muscle control that results in slow, imprecise, or sluggish speech.


Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that affects a person’s ability to chew and/or swallow food or liquids.

Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Moving food to the back of your mouth

  • Food getting stuck in cheeks

  • Coughing during or after swallowing

  • Food/liquid going down the wrong way

  • Food sticking in your throat

  • Aspirating ( food or liquid entering the lungs)


An instrumental swallowing assessment such as Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS) may be recommended prior to treatment. 


If you or your loved one has suffered a stroke and is experiencing any of these difficulties, our speech-language pathologists can help.

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