Stroke can result in aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia or a combination.  Aphasia is defined as the loss of language.  Aphasia can affect how we understand language when listening and reading, and how we transmit ideas when speaking and writing.  Often, finding the right word and comprehending abstract language is difficult. 


  • Aphasia is when your brain holds your words hostage
  • Aphasia can mask competence
  • Aphasia is caused by injury to the left side of the brain
  • People with Aphasia take extra time to understand what is being said to them
  • Often times, persons with aphasia have a weakness of the right arm and leg
Dysarthria often results in slurred speech that is difficult to understand.

Apraxia results in motor planning difficulties making speech difficult to understand and resulting in extreme frustration for the speaker.

A speech-language pathologist will assess the strengths and weaknesses of those who have experienced strokes to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to improve communication, improve quality of life, and help those with lived experience reintegrate into the community.


  • There are 300,000 Canadians ​living with stroke today

  • 40% of stroke patients are living with severe disabilities

  • 38% of stroke patients have aphasia

  • In Southeastern Ontario, 1,050 strokes occur per year 

  • 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year

  • 75% of people survive the initial stroke event

  • Strokes are the leading cause of neurological disability 

​How To Communicate With a Person Who Has Aphasia

  • make sure you have the person's attention before communicating​​​​​

  • keep the communication simple, but adult. Never treat them like a child​​​​​​

  • encourage people with Aphasia to be as independent as possible​​​​​​

  • whenever possible, continue normal home activities​​​​​​

  • do not shield people with Aphasia or be overprotective, rather, try and involve them in decision-making as much as possible ​​​​​​

  • praise all attempts to speak: eye contact, gestures, facial expressions...etc.​​​​​​​​