Aphasia

Page Contents

  • Description of Aphasia

  • Assessment

  • Consultation

  • Treatment

  • Intensive Treatment

  • Telepractice

  • Resources

Description of Aphasia

25-40% of stroke survivors acquire aphasia – a reduction in the ability to express and understand language. People with aphasia may have difficulty with word finding and forming sentences, say things that don’t sound like real words, misunderstand what others say, have difficulty reading and writing, and have problems using gestures.

There are different types of aphasia. When acute damage occurs in the brain's cortex (e.g., stroke or traumatic brain injury), the following types of aphasia may result:

Watch a video of a gentleman with fluent aphasia here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oef68YabD0

Watch videos of persons with nonfluent aphasia here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWC-cVQmEmY

http://www.stroke4carers.org/?p=5390

 

Assessment

Assessment serves to diagnose communication disorders (e.g., Broca’s aphasia), evaluate specific strengths and difficulties, inform treatment planning, and to make a prognosis about potential for improvement. Assessment for aphasia typically requires 2-3 hours depending on the purpose of the evaluation. Contact us to learn more and for our professional fees.

Consultation

S-LPs work with clients and other professionals to offer recommendations for more effective communication, strategies for coping with a communication disorder, and support with advocating for your needs and rights. For example, S-LPs may consult with clients and other professionals about competence and capacity and supporting self-determination in end of life decisions.

Treatment

The information below relates to adults with acquired aphasia such as from stroke or a traumatic brain injury. 

 

Adults with primary progressive aphasia or cognitive-linguistic changes related to other degenerative neurological conditions can contact us for more information on services.

For more information specific to traumatic brain injury, please click here.

During the first year, people make gains most rapidly with treatment. People with chronic aphasia (>6-12 months after stroke), however, also demonstrate improvement with intervention (e.g., Allen et al., 2012). With treatment, people can achieve improved communication skills (e.g., Brady et al., 2016). Abilities that can be targeted in treatment include:

  • word finding

  • forming sentences

  • understanding of spoken language

  • reading and writing

  • use of strategies

  • voice quality

  • verbal reasoning

  • attention and verbal memory

  • conversation

  • activities of daily living (eg. paying bills)

  • social interactions with friends and family

  • community participation

Treatment programming is planned based on the needs of the individual. It may involve restorative treatment that works on improving word finding, forming sentences, understanding what others say, verbal reasoning, reading, and writing. Treatment typically also involves development of compensatory strategies to support participation in daily life, and training of communication partners (e.g., spouses, children) in supportive techniques

Before starting therapy, a comprehensive assessment is completed. Measurement of progress is made throughout treatment. 

 

We are also able to connect our clients with other professionals as needed for a more comprehensive program of intervention such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. These connections are made by referral with additional fees as set by the service provider.

 

Assessment and treatment planning is done by Pamela Coulter, S-LP. Intervention is provided by Pamela Coulter, S-LP and Jennika Soles, S-LPA (learn about our team here). 

While more intensive treatment is generally desirable, it is not a good fit for everybody (Brady et al., 2016). For this reason, Shoreline offers a variety of options for treatment intensity (Robey, 1998):

          low intensity (1 – 1½ hours per week)

          moderate intensity (2 – 3 hours per week)

          intensive (5 – 8 hours per week)

Intensive Treatment 

For individuals who are interested in and considered good candidates for intensive treatment, Shoreline offers treatment programming for up to 8 hours a week. Intensive treatment is offered in blocks of 100 hours. Options for scheduling are flexible but may include one of the following suggested schedules:

 

4 days a week

2-hour appointments

=8 hours a week

 

3 days a week

2-hour appointments

=6 hours a week

 

2 days a week

3-hour appointments

=6 hours a week

Professional Fees for Intensive Programming

$12,000 for a full treatment cycle which includes:

  • pre-treatment assessment

  • 100 hours of treatment

  • post-treatment assessment

  • all materials

  • written reports

Payment schedules are flexible - per session, weekly, monthly, etc.

 

If an individual must discontinue the program before they have completed 100 hours of treatment and there is a credit balance on their account, they will receive a refund for services not received.

 

Read more about professional fees here.

Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs (ICAPS) in Canada

While Shoreline offers the option of intensive treatment programming, it is not a formal Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAPS), nor do we provide the same high-intensive dosage offered by such programs. For individuals interested in ICAPS, Canadian options include:

 

InteRACT – Intensive Residential Aphasia Communication Therapy (Halifax)

https://www.dal.ca/sites/interact.html

 

Intensive Treatment for Aphasia in Western Canada (ITAWC)

https://itawc.com/

Telepractice

Treatment for aphasia can be provided remotely through telepractice. Using WebEx, Shoreline's clinicians can provide treatment to people living anywhere in Nova Scotia. The initial assessment is best done in person at Shoreline's office, but treatment can then be done by videoconference. Telepractice requires that a client have a reliable internet connection, good quality audio and microphone, a webcam, and be able to operate the equipment at home (or have someone's assistance to do so). A trial with equipment can be conducted before committing to services. 

More Information

Contact Shoreline for information.

Download Shoreline's brochure on stroke services.

Learn about our professional fees.

Information and Resources

Stroke4Carers (Scotland)

http://www.stroke4carers.org/?cat=23&p=280

Aphasia Institute (Toronto, Ontario)

https://www.aphasia.ca/

Aphasia Etiquette (BBC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTh86NoQh7Q

NIDCD Fact Sheet - Aphasia

https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/health/voice/Aphasia.pdf

National Aphasia Association (USA)

https://www.aphasia.org/

Local

Aphasia Nova Scotia

https://www.aphasianovascotia.ca/

InteRACT

https://www.dal.ca/sites/interact.html

References on This Page

Allen, L., Mehta, S., McClure, J., & Teasell, R. (2012). Therapeutic interventions for aphasia initiated more than six months post stroke: A review of the evidence.Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 19, 523-535. doi:10.1310/tsr1906-523 

Brady, M. C., Kelly, H., Godwin, J., Enderby, P., & Campbell, P. (2016). Speech and language therapy for aphasia following stroke (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016(6), 1-405. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000425.pub4

Robey, R. R. (1998). A meta-analysis of clinical outcomes in the treatment of aphasia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 172-187. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4101.172

 
 
 
 
 
 

Shoreline Speech Therapy

Paddlers Cove Professional Centre

300 Prince Albert Rd., Suite 215, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 4J2

info@shoreline-speech.com

phone (902) 405-7858 or (902) 219-3065 

fax (902) 704-5444

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