What Can I Expect After a Stroke?
After a stroke, you may have:
- Physical difficulites (particulary in the arm, leg, and
face on one side of the body)
- Cognitive (thinking) problems
- Speech and language problems
You can expect some degree of "spontaneous
recovery" in the days, weeks, and months immediately
following the stroke. During this time, physical, cognitive, and
communication deficits may improve on their own as the brain
heals. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and
speech-language pathology services can enhance this spontaneous
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are trained to work
with people with a variety of speech and language disorders,
apraxia. An SLP can help the person improve communication skills beyond
what will naturally occur after the stroke. SLPs also
teach strategies to overcome communication deficits.
If you experience a stroke, you should expect some
degree of spontaneous recovery in the first 6 months or so after
the stroke. Recovery may continue for over a year. Your
degree of recovery depends on the severity and location of
the stroke. It is very difficult to predict. Many times,
improvements in physical abilities occur more rapidly than in
communication and cannot be used as a predictor for future speech
and language improvements.
Many people with aphasia and their families have written about
living with aphasia. They note that having a positive
attitude and learning from others' experiences are keys to
success in life after stroke. Reading personal accounts, using
the Internet for information, and joining support groups are some
ways that you and your family can learn about life with aphasia.
Realizing that depression often follows a stroke, and knowing how
to handle this depression, is also very important.
Aphasia is often a chronic problem. Learning to live with it
gracefully can lead to a fulfilling and satisfying life after
To contact a speech-language pathologist, visit
ASHA's Find a Professional.