If your aphasia is due to a stroke or head injury, you'll probably first see an emergency room physician. You'll then see a doctor who specializes in disorders of the nervous system (neurologist), and you may eventually be referred to a speech-language pathologist for rehabilitation.
Because this condition generally arises as an emergency, you won't have time to prepare. If possible, bring the medications or supplements you take with you to the hospital so that your doctor is aware of them.
When you have follow-up appointments, you'll likely need a companion to drive you to your doctor's office. In addition, this person may be able to help you communicate with your doctor.
Some questions a loved one or friend may want to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of these speech difficulties?
- Are tests needed?
- Is aphasia temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available for aphasia, and which do you recommend?
- Are there services available, such as speech-language therapy or home health assistance?
- Are there ways to help my loved one understand others or communicate more effectively?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely have questions, too. A loved one or friend can help your doctor get the information needed. Your doctor may ask:
March 21, 2015
- When did the symptoms start?
- Do you understand what others are saying?
- Do others understand what you're saying?
- Has the aphasia been continuous, or does it come and go?
- Have you noticed changes in your speech — such as the way you move your jaw, tongue and lips to make speech sounds — or the sound of your voice?
- Have you noticed changes in your ability to understand what you read or your ability to spell and write sentences?
- Clark DG. Approach to the patient with aphasia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Aphasia. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/function_and_dysfunction_of_the_cerebral_lobes/aphasia.html#v1034169. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Clark DG. Aphasia: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/Pages/aphasia.aspx. Accessed Feb. 26, 2015.