Difficulty Communicating After Stroke

Some stroke survivors experience language impairments involving the ability to speak, write, and understand spoken and written language. A stroke-induced injury to any of the brain’s language-control centers can severely impair verbal and written communication. This is most common if the left side of the brain is injured during stroke.


Communication problems are among the most frightening after-effects of stroke for both the survivor and the family. If the stroke damages the language center in the brain, you may have trouble expressing yourself or understanding others. This is a condition known as aphasia. Aphasia can affect your ability to talk, write and understand words.


Some strokes may affect the ability to control the muscles near the mouth, including the tongue and lips. As a result, certain stroke survivors are unable to pronounce certain sounds properly. This results in dysarthria, or the slurring of words, when speech is affected by weak tongue and lip muscles.

Getting Help

These conditions can be frustrating. Assistance from a speech language pathologist can help you learn to communicate more effectively by using your remaining language abilities, restoring language abilities as much as possible, and learning other ways of communicating.

Treatment may be offered in individual or group settings. Additionally, support groups and special programs may offer ongoing support to continue to improve your ability to communicate with others.

Family involvement is often an important part of treatment so that family members can learn the best way to communicate with a loved one who has had a stroke.