DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mother had a stroke six months ago. Her mobility has returned to near normal, but she still has some difficulty communicating. She can read and understand others when they speak, but she often struggles to find the words she wants to say. While frustrated, she refuses to try speech therapy, saying it will not help. Could speech therapy help someone like my mother?
ANSWER: The effectiveness of speech therapy for people who have communication difficulties after a stroke depends on many factors, including which area of the brain the stroke affected, the severity of the brain damage, the person's awareness of his or her difficulty, and the ability to learn and apply strategies. Generally, speech therapy can help those whose speech is affected by a stroke just as other types of rehabilitation can help them if they have to relearn other skills lost due to a stroke.