What is a Stroke?

Stroke can be a frightening word to hear if you find out that you or someone you know has experienced one. But what is a stroke exactly? Find out the various types, what causes it, how to prevent a stroke, how to spot one happening, and what happens afterwards as stroke survivors try to recover with rehabilitation.

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Understanding the Communication Challenges Facing Stroke Survivors

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  • When most people think of aphasia, they think of a type of non-fluent aphasia called Broca's aphasia. Learn what Broca's aphasia is, see a video of what it sounds like, and find out how to help a person with the frustrating condition of expressive aphasia.
  • Global aphasia is the most severe and devastating type of aphasia after stroke. Learn what it is and how you can better communicate with a person who has global aphasia.
  • Leading experts in neurological rehabilitation answer your questions about stroke recovery in this new easy-to-read book. Essential reading for stroke survivors, families, friends, and healthcare professionals to know how best to help heal the broken brain.
  • Furry friends keep us company, but they can also be therapeutic. Find out how animals, especially dogs, can help stroke survivors with aphasia to improve language, mood, and overall well-being.
  • Does stroke recovery stop after 3-6 months or does it go on forever? Find out what medical professionals mean when they say stroke survivors have hit a plateau, then try these 9 things to get your recovery going again. Features an aphasia-friendly version to download & share.
  • Personal stories are powerful tools for professionals to better understand the lives of their clients and caregivers. For those affected by communication disorders, stories serve to provide support by hearing about someone going through the same situation. Check out these 12 stories in books and film to better understand the human experience you won't learn...
  • Aphasia technology pioneer Darlene Williamson explains what VAST is and why videos are so effective at helping stroke survivors to speak again. Learn more about the history, theory, and technology behind the videos that make our Apraxia Therapy app so powerful in this interview.
  • Stroke and brain injury survivors with communication and physical challenges are often well-protected from risk by loving family members or caregivers. While risk may sound like a bad thing, there's something very important about it to the human experience. Guest blogger Tricia Rachfall offers insights about the dignity of risk in the lives of those...
  • Stroke can be a frightening word to hear if you find out that you or someone you know has experienced one. But what is a stroke exactly? Find out the various types, what causes it, how to prevent a stroke, how to spot one happening, and what happens afterwards as stroke survivors try to recover...
  • Dylan Otto Krider is an award-winning author who suffered a stroke at age 43. Faced with aphasia that took away his ability to speak, read, and write, he fought his way back with hard work and speech therapy to recover his craft and career. Read his inspiring story of determination to see how far he's...
  • Byron and Donna Peterson have been living with Wernicke's aphasia for over 5 years now. Donna shares their story of stroke, rehab, and getting back into life with a challenging communication disorder that drove most of their family and friends away. See how this adventurous couple has risen to the challenge and is fighting back...
  • Effortless speech isn't what you think of when you hear "aphasia," but it is a characteristic of fluent aphasia, a unique language disorder you may need to see to believe. Learn what fluent aphasia is, see a video of what it sounds like, and find out how to help a person with a lesion in...
  • Communicating after a stroke can be challenging and frustrating. See how an exciting new update to the AlphaTopics AAC app can help people with aphasia and dysarthria improve communication clarity with 3 simple but powerful tools. This affordable app provides stroke survivors with augmentative communication strategies designed for their unique needs.
  • Neuroplasticity is a big word getting a lot of buzz in stroke and brain injury rehab because it gives hope to survivors that their brains can heal, adapt, and rewire after they have been damaged. What exactly is neuroplasticity, and how does it work? Learn the 10 principles so you can evaluate whether treatment...
  • Stroke recovery is a complex process, influenced by many factors – most of which are outside of your control. While this lack of control can leave you feeling helpless, there are some important aspects of your recovery that you can take responsibility for. Read how 5 personal factors can impact stroke recovery.
  • “Trish had a massive stroke.” I’ll never forget the call from a friend, telling me the news about my dear friend of nearly 25 years. I barely registered the words. My mind reeled with thoughts about what this might mean for Trish.Read what medical SLP Karen Eutsler Little did next as she danced between...
  • When you think of numbers, do you think of math or language? Numbers can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided, but numbers also represent concepts. Numbers communicate important information about who we are, what we do, and how we move through the world. Learn what numerical transcoding is and why numbers are so challenging for...
  • Apps are great tools for speech-language professionals, but they are also extraordinarily helpful for speech therapy clients to use at home. Read about 35+ apps that can be used to enhance communication and quality of life at home in 5 different ways for adults with acquired communication and swallowing impairments in Part 6 of our...
  • Follow along with a speech-language pathologist as she goes through a typical day on the inpatient rehab unit, helping TBI and stroke survivors recover their speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing skills. Find out what SLPs do in this setting as part of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
  • Part 2 of our 7-part “Getting Started” series focuses on 5 reasons why it makes sense for stroke survivors and their families to use iPad apps to augment their speech therapy at home. Learn why more therapy is better. Read how using apps can empower stroke survivors to take control of their rehabilitation. See why...
  • As an inpatient speech-language pathologist working in rehab, I didn’t think the life participation to aphasia approach (LPAA) was for me. I couldn't have been more wrong. Learn 5 lessons about LPAA that might change the way you approach speech therapy to make your clients' lives better. The best part is, you and your...
  • Discover 5 amazing websites you probably didn't know existed that offer free speech therapy materials for adults. Simplified reading passages can get stroke survivors re-engaged with the printed word, while videos bring language to life for people with aphasia. #2 is really useful since it has a built-in hierarchy, while #4 is simply incredible.
  • Depression and anxiety frequently follow a stroke, but for those stroke survivors with aphasia, discussing feelings and getting help is even more difficult. Here, a SLP and counselor discusses the importance of getting psychological help for people with medical conditions and offers advice for SLPs and mental health counselors, along with resources for recognizing and...
  • Finding yourself or a loved one suddenly enrolled in speech therapy following a stroke or brain injury can add further stress to an overwhelming time. While it may start out as an experience you’d rather not have, soon you may find its something you can’t get enough of. Here are some tips for making the...
  • Two recent events are drawing considerable attention to communication disorders. While the awareness is greatly needed, the approaches are less than ideal. In both cases, we learn that alcohol and strokes don’t mix.Learn from the mistakes of others to see why awareness of stroke-related communication impairments is necessary and weigh in with your opinions on...
  • There are millions of stroke survivors around the world, but you may not realize you're talking with one right away. Learn what a stroke really is, then read about the 4 types of acquired communication disorders that may affect the way a stroke survivor speaks. Find out what you can do to make conversation easier...
  • Left neglect is a neurological disorder common after a right-sided stroke. Learn the terminology associated with hemispatial neglect, then read about the best practices and latest evidence for assessment and treatment of this disorder in this post. You'll see how a person with left neglect might see the the world and perform on common assessment...
  • It was September of 2013, and Jennifer and Ed Swaren were busy prepping their yard and pool for winter. Suddenly Jennifer stumbled, fell, and broke her hip.She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she was operated on a few days later. Because she was slow to recover after the surgery, the medical...
  • Imagine that you can construct fluent sentences in your mind, but only utter “Not good” when asked a question.Or you remember every moment of your wedding day 48 years ago, but when asked the date, you have to write the numbers 2 and 7, point to them, and say, “This one . . . December.”Or...
  • Barbara, a former teacher, uses Conversation TherAppy to help her husband recover his speechThree months shy of her planned retirement, Barbara’s life took a detour. Days that she once imagined would be filled with visiting her children in other states and pursuing her art and music interests were now entrenched with...