Many of you have heard of the term “neuroplasticity” in speaking about stroke or brain injury recovery. Briefly, the term refers to the brain being “plastic” in that it can recover once damaged. This is quite different from what used be believed, that once a particular area of the brain was dead, it was gone forever. The brain actually can reconfigure and send signals around the damaged area(s). This can occur even years after a stroke. It is important to help your brain in its recovery. How you ask? One way is by repetition. When you practice a skill over and over, you are giving your brain the ability to re-route that skill. Much like an athlete practicing the same skills over and over, he is developing the brain maps of the activities he needs to be skilled at. Stroke patients are the same way. When you practice a skill, whether it be moving your arm, leg or speaking, you are helping your brain figure out new ways to map around the damaged area and send new signals to the body. Look for different outlets of practicing whether it be speech related or physical: apps, aphasia dvds, exercise dvds, gyms, support groups, for example.
About the author
Kim Robbins is a Speech-Language Pathologist that has been providing face-to-face aphasia therapy to stroke survivors and brain injury victims for over 17 years. She has a strong passion for working with these individuals, and her personal mission is to make their road to recovery easier.
She personally developed the Communication Partner therapy DVDs to help make speech therapy more accessible and affordable for stroke survivors.