Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If your aphasia is due to a stroke or head injury, you'll probably first be seen by an emergency room physician. You'll then be seen by 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 any time to prepare. If possible, bring any medications or supplements that you take with you to the hospital so that your doctor is aware of what you've taken.
When you have follow-up appointments, you'll likely need a friend or loved one 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 any tests needed?
- Is aphasia temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available for aphasia, and which do you recommend?
- Are there any types of services available, such as speech-language therapy or home health assistance?
- Is there any way 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 he or she needs. Your doctor may ask:
- When did the symptoms first 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 any 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 any 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/index. Accessed March 7, 2012.
- Aphasia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/function_and_dysfunction_of_the_cerebral_lobes/aphasia.html#v1034169. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Clark DG. Aphasia: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/ index. Accessed March 7, 2012.
- Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/Pages/aphasia.aspx. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Aphasia: Benefits of speech-language pathology services. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/AphasiaSLPBenefits.htm. Accessed March 23, 2012.