|In the early stages of recovery, when a client is alert and well enough, then communication will be assessed by a SLT.
Language difficulties post-stroke are known as aphasia. Both understanding and use of language can be affected, as well as reading and writing. For example, people may no longer be able to understand the words that people say to them in a conversation, or understand written information. They may not be able to find the words they want to say, or say the wrong word, or may not be able to produce words in a sentence. People with a severe aphasia may have some limited use of gesture or pointing as their means of communication.
Speech may also be affected post-stroke. When speech is unclear or difficult to understand, this can be due to dysarthria. Dysarthria entails a range of difficulties, including slow or slurred speech, or difficulties achieving appropriate volume. This occurs because innervation to the nerves that control speech is affected. Speech may also be apraxic, meaning that under voluntary control the client may struggle to initiate what they want to say or struggle get their mouth to move in the correct way to make certain sounds or words, yet this is unrelated to muscle weakness.