Constraint-Induced Therapy As A Rehab For Aphasia

When a person suffers from a stroke, multiple aspects of their personality can be affected. One of the most common of these problems is the impact it has on their communication. This problem, known as aphasia, can be treated in multiple ways, including constraint-induced therapy. The following information can help give you a guideline on this unique rehab therapy.

Understanding Aphasia's Impact

Aphasia occurs in stroke victims when the language area of their brains has been damaged. It makes it more difficult for people to communicate, often affecting listening, speaking, and even writing skills. As a result, it can make a person seem less intelligent or even confused, but aphasia does not impact a stroke victim's intelligence. This makes this problem all the more frustrating.

Common symptoms of this disorder include the following activities:

  • Replacing common words with strange and inappropriate language
  • Hard time processing what you are saying
  • Speaking using nonsensical words
  • Struggling to listen to television and radio
  • Difficulties with reading or writing
  • Problems handling or dealing with money issues

Treatments for this condition focus on helping a person regain some of their communication techniques. There are multiple methods used, but constraint-induced therapy will be focused on here.

What Are Constraint-Induced Therapy Guidelines

Constraint-induced therapy operates on the idea of forcing a person to work through their limitations. It focuses on three concepts: constraint (limiting the use of compensation); forced use (forcing a person to use the impacted area); and massed practice (performing activities with the damaged area daily). This creates a whole new world of treatment possibilities for aphasia victims.

For example, in speech therapy, your loved one will be limited from using written communication and will be forced to challenge their verbal communication skills. Rehab can occur for about 2-4 hours every day, creating the "massed practice" effect.

Activities You Can Perform At Home

Typically, constraint-induced therapy is performed by experts, but there are some activities that you can do at home. The structure of a typical treatment includes homework assignments designed to help stimulate language centers of the brain and compensate for communication problems.

A few ways that you can help utilize constraint-induced therapy sessions at home include:

  • Flash-card lessons with various words and pictures printed on the front
  • Writing lessons in which your loved one focuses on a limited selection of words
  • Pronunciation activities, including how to avoid nonsense words

By following these guidelines, and regularly attending therapy and rehab sessions, your loved one may be able to regain much of their control of language. While they're not likely to ever get back to the same level they were at originally, they can master some basic skills.  

For more information on this topic, contact a local clinic like Valley View Retirement Community.