Strokes and Memory: How Speech Therapy Can Help


After a person has a stroke, a speech-language pathologist is often a critical part of the recovery team, helping to restore communication and compensate for losses in speech and language. But did you know speech therapists can help with other losses after a stroke as well? Many speech pathologists provide cognitive therapy, or therapy to rehabilitate issues that may arise with memory, concentration, or other aspects of higher-level thinking. What are some areas a speech pathologist might target in cognitive therapy following a stroke?

Memory: The neurological damage that results from a stroke can cause significant deficits in memory. A speech-language pathologist will help determine what aspects of memory have suffered the most (e.g. short-term memory, long-term memory, or working memory), and work with the patient to determine strategies to compensate for these deficits. A speech therapist can also provide exercises to help strengthen areas of weakness.


Attention: Often people have difficulty concentrating after a stroke. This may seem minor in comparison with other deficits like paralysis or loss of language, but difficulty focusing and sustaining attention can have a devastating impact on a person’s day-to-day function, especially for those who hope to return to work. Cognitive therapy provides activities designed to increase concentration, as well as tools and techniques to support focus outside of therapy.

Social Skills: When a person experiences a stroke, especially on the right side of the brain, social skills may suffer. Aspects of communication and interaction that came naturally before, such as eye contact, personal space, and conversational etiquette may become difficult. A person with right-sided damage also may have difficulty identifying these issues. A speech-language pathologist will work with the patient to objectively highlight areas of difficulty and relearn these skills.

Do you know someone who is struggling with speech, language, or cognitive issues following a stroke? Contact us today for an assessment, and make sure your loved one gets the help they need. For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212)308-7725 or visit our website at and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2013, Speech Associates of NY – All Rights Reserved

This entry was posted in Language Disorders, Speech Disorders, Stroke and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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