What Treatment is Available?
In some cases, an individual with aphasia may completely recover without specific treatment. However, it is most commonly recommended that once a person is diagnosed with aphasia, speech and language therapy is started as soon as possible. A speech-language pathologist will be able to work on rehabilitation in all aspects of communication (expressive, receptive, reading and writing), by using extensive therapy exercises tailored to fit the individual needs of the patient.
It is difficult to predict a definite outcome for an individual with aphasia given the wide range of variability of the disorder and extent of brain damage. Overall, however, individuals who begin rehabilitation therapy as soon as possible after their diagnosis have a promising outlook of recovering their speech and language skills.
Where can individuals receive treatment?
Individuals with aphasia usually work most closely with a speech-language pathologist in order to regain their language skills. Treatment is typically designed around the patient’s immediate and long-term life goals. Specialized programs exist through which patients can be trained to use computers and other materials to communicate in alternative, but effective ways. Additional professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, art therapists, music therapists, and counselors often work with individuals with aphasia to provide further help with communication skills, and also address physical and emotional issues. Support groups can also aid in helping family members cope with their loved one’s diagnosis.
Individuals seeking treatment should talk with their doctor to receive contact information for specific professionals.