Carol Persad, UCLL Director, Image

UMAP Director Discusses Aphasia and Speech Therapy

News, UMAP

Carol Persad, Ph.D., director of the University Center for Language and Literacy, home to the U-M Aphasia Program (UMAP), was recently interviewed by Everyday Health for an article on how speech therapy benefits people with aphasia. Aphasia, an acquired communication disorder, is commonly caused by stroke or head injury. People with aphasia may have trouble speaking, understanding, reading and/or writing, while their intellect remains intact. 

Benefits of Speech Therapy

The article focused on how Speech-Language Pathologists work with clients who have aphasia. SLPs work with clients on speech, but they also try to expand communication skills using a variety of tools, including technology, picture boards, or drawings. 

Dr. Persad emphasized the importance of intensive, repetitive speech-language therapy in order to increase communicative ability for people who have aphasia. She said clients practice repeating sounds and making associations between words and objects. Research supports the effectiveness of this repetitive therapy. 

According to Dr. Persad, it is never too late to try speech therapy. She was adamant that, although language recovery many years after stroke or injury to the brain may be slower, people with aphasia can always benefit from speech therapy. 

The article also mentioned the importance of group therapy. In a group setting, people with aphasia can communicate with others who know what they’re going through, allowing them to practice their language skills and be part of a supportive community. 

Telemedicine: Speech-Language Therapy at Home

The article also touched on teletherapy, which allows clients to receive therapy without having to leave home. Dr. Persad said UMAP clients can return home after their program and continue receiving innovative therapy multiple days a week. 

The article ended on a positive note, focusing on new treatment options and continuing research. Recovery is hard work, but resources continue to improve. 

Would you like to learn more about UMAP and intensive aphasia therapy? Please contact us at (734) 764-8440 to get the conversation started.