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Left-brain stroke and communication difficulties

Left-brain stroke survivors may experience communication problems and paralysis (loss of use) on the right side. Communication problems can affect the survivor’s receptive abilities (understanding) or expressive abilities (getting the words out). This is referred to as “aphasia.” They may also have slurred speech from the right sided face and/or mouth weakness which is referred to as “dysarthria.”

When communicating with a stroke survivor who has communication problems (aphasia), it is helpful to:

Be patient.

Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV, limit extraneous noise.

Keep the questions simple, so that the survivor may reply using yes or no.

Keep commands and directions simple.

Speak in a normal voice at normal loudness.

Allow the person time to process the information, as well as form a response to questions or commands.

Do not rush the survivor to answer your questions or comments.

Resist the temptation to answer questions for him or her.

Stroke survivors may have difficulty with their communication skills following a stroke. Communication problems can be classified into two basic categories: aphasia and motor speech disorders.


Simply defined, aphasia is the loss of ability to communicate normally resulting from damage, typically to the left side of the brain, which houses the communication center.

The condition can affect a person’s ability to understand what is being said to them or asked of them (auditory comprehension).

Aphasia may also affect the ability to read, write, and deal with numbers. Your speech pathologist can provide you with additional information on aphasia and motor speech disorders.–and-left-brain-strokes-tips-for-the-caregive



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