Get-hooked June 2, 2020
Camps on aphasia tele rehab to mark Aphasia Awareness Month in Telangana
The month of June is dedicated to aphasia awareness all over the world. In Telangana, TASLPA, a group of audiologists and speech language pathologists, is marking this with a series of awareness camps about Aphasia Tele Rehab.
Imagine a situation where you are in desperate need of help, but no one can understand what you are trying to say. Or that you are unable to express the emotion you want to. This is a characteristic of Aphasia, a medical condition that affects a person’s ability to speak and write. Aphasia is caused due to an injury to the brain. This could be a stroke, head trauma, tumour, or an infection.
Limited awareness in India
Across the world, June is marked as Aphasia Awareness Month. Over the years, awareness in India has grown substantially but lots more needs to be done given the numbers. In India, the incidence of brain stroke is 119 to 145 per 100,000. Aphasia persists as a disability in nearly 40% of stroke survivors and the number of people with aphasia in India is around two million.
The Telangana Audiologists and Speech Pathologists Association (TASLPA) has dedicated June to building awareness about this disability.
We are working towards creating awareness about aphasia, which when identified and treated early, can help in good recovery. Each year we conduct different awareness programs. This year due to the Covid-19 conditions in India, our aim is to reach the unreached through Aphasia Tele Rehab. People with aphasia can be tested and given advice by the speech therapist from their own locations using e-resources. – Dr C.S.Swathi, President, Telangana Audiologists and Speech Pathologists Association
Tele rehab offers effective approach
Awareness is key to aphasia tele-rehabilitation. Take the case of Mr X*, in his early 60s, who suffered a stroke. “He felt a weakness in the right side of the body along with slurring of speech”, recalls his relative. “He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital and medical treatment was given. He now walks with support, but we are not able to understand what he says”. Doctors referred Mr X to a speech therapist. “She conducted some tests and diagnosed aphasia and says he can recover his speech with therapy”.
There are many types of aphasias. Some people have difficulty speaking while others may struggle to follow a conversation. In some cases, it is quite mild and not immediately noticeable. In some people, it can severely affect the ability to speak, write, read and listen.
“If the symptoms of aphasia last beyond two or three months after a stroke, complete recovery is unlikely”, says Dr Swathi. “However, it is important to note that some people continue to improve over a period of years and even decades.” Contacting a speech therapist, she emphasises, is crucial to recovering speech and communication.
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