Working To Treat Aphasia- Standard Procedures

The first step in treating aphasia is to properly diagnose the cause. This is done through multiple tests such as cat scans and magnetic imagery. This can pinpoint the area damaged and provide the information necessary to treat the patient appropriately. Proper evaluations by neurologists and speech pathologist are also standard. They are the pros that will mark out the map to get the best results. The type of therapy is based upon the cause and degree of aphasia. However other medical conditions must also be considered. If a patient has dementia, or Alzheimer’s a different type of communication may work better.

Individual Care

Each patient has different needs and abilities. They respond when those needs are discovered. There is always some trial and error involved. You may try two or three different forms of therapy before you get a positive response and a direction to follow. Some patients will be able to speak within a very short time and others may never utter another syllable. The importance of consistent expectations can’t be stressed enough. These patients are already experiencing confusion and to change how or what is done would be overwhelming for them. As a general rule the speech pathologist is crowned the captain of the ship when it comes to rehabilitation. They have the expertise to evaluate a patient’s achievements and determine if they are adequate or if a new form of communication should be instituted. Correcting a patients attempt to verbalize is very damaging and may send the patient backwards several days in therapy.

If the therapist feels the progress is too slow or unsuccessful they may begin using hand movements to communicate or sign boards. These boards allow the patient to simply point to what they need, like a bathroom or food. There are also letter boards to help patients that can spell out what they want if they can’t verbalize it. Writing is another method commonly used to help relay the needs or wants of patients. Their handwriting may be shaky due to a long illness or if the predominant hand is the afflicted one.

In Conclusion

When communication is restricted it can be a frightening and frustrating event. This is one condition that affects the entire family and needs time and patience to recover from. It is a lot of hard work on the part of the patient, therapist and the family but it is worth it.
You can just imagine how it would feel to be hungry and not be able to ask for food, or thirsty and you can only look at that glass of water in someone else hands. It would be a form of torture to allow these patients to live the remainder of their life without a method of getting their messages across. Research is ongoing. The exploration of pharmaceutical therapy has hope for improvements in recoveries. Another research currently being done is studies of the brain and locating the areas that control each type of aphasia and how to possibly re-channel those impulses.

Jobs Related To the Treatment of Aphasia

There are several jobs related to the treatment of aphasia. Physicians are of course one of the first to come in contact with patients and begin the recovery plan. They consult a neurologist and a speech pathologist for evaluation and treatment. Nurses also play a huge role in identifying the patient’s level of communication and their response to therapy. Nurses and clinical bedside care professionals are in contact with the patient more than any other care provider. They will be the first to notice a change in the ability to comprehend and follow commands. They are often the first to witness a patient attempting to speak. Educating the entire staff is crucial.

Who Treats Patients with Aphasia

The correct answer to this question is everyone who comes into contact with the patient. They all need to be trained to provide consistent methods and expectations. Speech pathologists are explicitly taught how to diagnose and treat patients with communication disorders. They should lead the care of rehabilitation for the entire group. They should also teach the caregivers and family members how to aid the patient. They may be stroke patients or even pediatric patients that are afflicted with aphasia. The pathologist has to complete a degree program followed by a post graduate fellowship and may need to obtain certification in this area. This career is not limited to aphasia and usually includes hearing and swallowing defects as well. The specialists can work in a hospital setting on a consulting basis or open their own office for ongoing outpatient treatment. Research is another area speech pathologist contributes to. Speech therapist is another term used for speech pathologist.
Neurologists are also involved in the diagnosis and treatment of aphasic patients. They have an expansive understanding of the areas in the brain that were affected by the event. They may offer pharmaceutical therapy in conjunction with speech therapy. Occupational therapists contribute to the recovery in many ways. In many cases they can help the patient return to some type of work. This gives the patient hope for a reasonably normal life in the future. Though not all patients can reach this level of recovery, each one that does is a wonderful success. In addition certain corporations have started providing fundraising for this and similar conditions. To learn more you can visit Arby’s online application for donations. Also you can visit Burger Kings application form. McDonald’s also sponsors a fundraiser under it’s job application starter program.

There are numerous foundations to support the families and patients with aphasia. They offer home treatment, education and supplies needed to encourage recovery as quickly as possible. The home care provider needs to be educated in the same manner as all other professionals.

Rewards

The rewards are enormous. If you can imagine the first word spoken- it can be a very emotional and blissful moment. The sense of achievement has finally arrived. It’s the breakthrough that tells you there is a chance at recovery. As a speech pathologist you are not simply teaching someone how to speak again, you are giving them back a portion of their life they thought was lost forever. What could be more rewarding? Well, in addition to these exultant moments, you also are well compensated financially.

What Is Aphasia?

Aphasia is the inability to express yourself. It may occur with a stroke or after intricate brain surgery. It commonly occurs with the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s or epilepsy. Do not mistake this condition for a lack of intelligence, that hasn’t changed only their ability to communicate has.

The Many Types of Aphasia

There are currently five types of aphasia recognized at this time. Each form can be mild, moderate or severe and they require different therapy.

• Expressive aphasia is the loss of a person’s ability to communicate. They know what they want to say but can’t say it.
• Anomic aphasia is earmarked by the individual’s difficulty in using the correct word to relay the message. This aphasia affects speaking and writing.
• Receptive aphasia limits the patient’s ability to understand what someone is saying or writing. They may not even recognize the language being spoken.
• Global aphasia most commonly seen immediately after a stroke is all inclusive. The patient can’t speak or write or understand what is being said to them. They are not able to follow the simplest commands.
• Progressive aphasia is a condition unrelated to stroke and patients are usually taught other methods of communication.

Treatment for Aphasia

Treatment for patients with aphasia varies according to the degree of involvement. Some patients recover completely without any therapy, however speech therapy is recommended for all aphasic patients. Speech pathologists are trained to evaluate the patient’s ability to read, write or comprehend any form of communication. Once the therapist has determined the client’s condition, a plan of action the patient is put in place. The results are documented in their daily records. While group therapy is often very beneficial that is usually in accordance with individual treatment. Families must also be trained in the best methods of communicating with the patient. Using short sentences to convey the message, having the patient attempt to repeat words said to them and being tolerant and encouraging are all critical steps in the recovery process.

Prognosis

Patients with aphasia may or may not completely recover depending on the cause and severity. The outcome of therapy is directly related to the cause of the aphasia and the degree of involvement. Therapy can help patients learn to communicate whether it’s through speaking, writing or using mechanical equipment. Each patient learns at varying rates of speed and responds better to one or more types of therapy. These individual responses are exactly why each patient needs individual assessments and treatments. There is not one type of treatment that equals to one level of recovery.

Ongoing research regarding the cause of aphasia will hopefully expose new and improved methods of treatment. Scientist are examining the actual mechanism that prevents the ability to understand language whether it’s in written or spoken form. There is also an ongoing exploration of how drug therapy could possibly improve the outcome of all patients with aphasia or cognitive impairments. Scientists and physicians are trying to discover how the brain reorganizes when an injury occurs.