Updated: Nov 22
Many people may not be familiar with the term "apraxia of speech" and its connection to stroke. In this blog post, we'll shed light on this often-overlooked speech disorder and how it can commonly occur after a stroke. At True Self Speech Therapy, we offer specialized services to help you or your loved one overcome the challenges of apraxia following a stroke.
What is Apraxia of Speech? Apraxia of speech, often referred to as AOS, is a motor speech disorder that affects the planning and execution of speech movements. It disrupts the brain's ability to coordinate the precise muscle movements necessary for clear and fluid speech. Individuals with AOS may experience difficulties with articulation, speech rate, and prosody, which are essential elements of effective communication.
AOS and Stroke: Unveiling the Connection While AOS can result from various causes, one common trigger is a stroke. In the acute stage of stroke recovery, individuals may experience a range of communication challenges. Damage to specific areas of the brain, particularly in the left hemisphere, can lead to not only AOS but also aphasia (a language disorder) and dysarthria (a disorder of speech execution and control).
The Diagnostic Challenge: Stroke and AOS Distinguishing between these disorders can be a complex task, especially when multiple deficits occur simultaneously. The diagnostic process is often complicated by the fact that AOS rarely occurs in isolation but is frequently accompanied by aphasia. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation becomes crucial to differentiate between AOS and other speech and language impairments.
Unveiling the Promising Tools: Acoustic Evaluation and Neuroimaging At True Self Speech Therapy, we stay abreast of the latest research and clinical advancements to provide you with the most effective solutions. Recent studies have explored acoustic evaluation and neuroimaging as valuable tools to support the diagnostic process. These methods can provide a more objective and reliable means of identifying and diagnosing AOS.
Our Approach: Specialized Treatment for AOS At our private practice, we are committed to helping individuals with apraxia of speech following a stroke. Our specialized services are designed to address the unique challenges of AOS. We use evidence-based approaches, including the articulatory-kinematic approach, which has demonstrated effectiveness in improving speech production in AOS.
The Promise of Emerging Treatment Methods In addition to established approaches, we are also exploring innovative treatment methods, such as noninvasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and self-administered computer-based therapy. These emerging techniques show promise in enhancing treatment outcomes for AOS, and we are continually researching the latest developments to benefit our patients.
Your Path to Recovery At True Self Speech Therapy, we understand the challenges that apraxia of speech presents, especially following a stroke. Don't let apraxia hold you back from effective communication and a fulfilling life. Your journey to recovery starts with targeted therapy.
Basilakos A. “Contemporary Approaches to the Management of Post-stroke Apraxia of Speech”. Semin Speech Lang. 2018 Feb;39(1):25-36.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with a qualified speech pathologist for a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.