How Speech Therapy Helps After a Stroke

A stroke is a catastrophic event that can cause multiple, long-lasting health problems. Strokes can adversely affect vision, balance, cognition, memory, and speech, and even cause temporary or long-lasting paralysis on one side of the body.

Difficulty communicating is one of the most life-altering complications after a stroke. Many stroke patients have reduced speaking abilities, called aphasia, which impairs their ability to process language. Aphasia occurs in about 20 to 40 percent of stroke patients.

While aphasia does not affect intelligence, it can make it hard for the stroke patient to understand others and communicate, and can also affect their ability to read and write.

In conjunction with proper, ongoing medical care, a stroke patient will need to work with a team of physical, occupational, and speech therapists to help regain many of the essential functions that are critical for having a normal life.

Speech therapy is among one of the most important rehabilitation treatments for stroke patients, which can help regain important cognitive and communication functions.

How Speech Therapists Help

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), also more commonly known as “speech therapists,” are important members of the stroke patient’s rehabilitation team. SLPs diagnose, assess, and ultimately treat disorders related to language; voice; cognition; and the ability to swallow, chew, and more.

Speech therapists work with patients in an effort to reach the highest potential for communication and function after the stroke, as well as to improve the patient’s sense of autonomy and overall quality of life. Speech therapy helps stroke patients regain essential functions, including the following:

    • Swallowing The inability to swallow is a common side-effect of stroke. Speech therapy can help stroke patients relearn to swallow, and use the muscles necessary to move the tongue and esophagus, which also play a role in forming sounds in speech.
    • Speech Often times, certain muscles used for speech are damaged during a stroke affecting speech clarity and pronunciation. Speech Therapy can help improve muscle strength, memory and coordination. An SLP will also teach a stroke patient how to produce and relearn sounds that may have been affected at the time of the stroke.
    • Word retrieval Many stroke patients have difficulty with remembering words, or may use the wrong word to describe an object. Speech therapy can help stroke patients regain cognitive function, and memory, which can improve word retrieval. Additionally, an SLP may also recommend group therapy to improve conversational skills, which can further bolster the return of cognitive functions. Role playing in speech therapy also helps improve a stroke patient’s interactions with others.
  • Attention and problem solving An SLP can help a stroke patient with attention and regaining problem-solving skills. Speech therapy exercises can include simple crossword puzzles or flash card use, or more advanced therapies to help improve synaptic plasticity.

Speech Therapists Are Part of An Essential Team of Rehabilitation Specialists


Speech therapists works in conjunction with a stroke patient’s other rehabilitation specialists during the recovery process to provide the most thorough care possible.

A speech therapist may work with the occupational therapist to help the patient return to work, for example, and develop a rehabilitation plan for recalling many essential work-related functions and communication strategies.

SLPs also work with the patient’s caretakers, children, and physicians to help modify their lifestyle and environment to suit their unique care needs.

tuLIPS Speech Therapy’s team of speech-language pathologists work with adult stroke patients to help them regain lost cognitive functions and improve speech and communication. Contact us at to learn more about how we can help your loved one improve their quality of life. You can also call us at (415) 567-8133. We look forward to speaking with you!

How Speech Therapy Can Help Your Child’s Verbal Development

Many people believe that speech therapy is only useful for children with speech or language disorders. While speech therapy is an excellent option to help these children, speech therapy can also help kids develop confidence, build their vocabulary, and establish strong social skills.

Parents play an important role in a child’s language development – studies have shown that children who are read to and spoken with learn a great deal more during early childhood and have a larger vocabulary and better grammar than those who aren’t.

But parents can also look to speech therapy to nurture their child’s language development — here are just some of the many ways speech therapy can help your child:

Speech Therapy Teaches Children How to Communicate Their Feelings

For children who are just learning to form words, speech therapy can help them find ways to talk to those around them. Speech therapy can help children learn to express their wants, needs, and desires, and find ways to communicate with others, even without words.

As a result, your child can begin to develop confidence in their verbal, and non-verbal, communication abilities. They can begin to develop self-esteem knowing that they are able to interact with their parents and peers, and may feel safer in the world with these stronger communication strategies.

Speech Therapy Helps with Language Development

Speech therapy improves learning and using the English language. A speech therapist will work with your child to improve comprehension, word sequencing, pronoun usage, proper grammar, and much more.

Language development exercises in speech therapy build a strong foundation for your child’s future communication abilities, which will help them throughout the rest of their life.

Speech Therapy Can Improve Social Skills

Developing strong social skills is important for children. Children will need to interact with their peers and adults in various settings. Speech therapy can accelerate social skill development and further boost confidence as well.

A speech therapist can help your child to understand and participate in conversations with those around them; how to interact with and interpret the world; and how to express to others what they see, feel, and experience.

How Parents Help

Along with speech therapy, parents play a critical role in their child’s verbal development. Luckily, there are some simple ways to actively participate in helping your child develop stronger language skills:

  • Talk to your child: Never stop talking to your child. Narrate the day as it goes on – explain to them each activity you’re enjoying together. Point out objects, locations, signs, etc. and explain to them, in detail, what they mean. <br><br>

  • Read with your child: Reading can happen throughout the day, not just at bedtime. Enjoy short stories together after lunch, before a nap, first thing in the morning. Reading as much as possible can help your child develop a strong vocabulary and build literacy.

  • Listen to music together: Sing lively songs – singing helps your child use words, learn language patterns, and express themselves. Singing songs also helps build your child’s memory and makes speaking fun!

  • Avoid spending too much time on the computer and limit TV: Some educational programming can be beneficial for children over two-years-old, but television shows don’t provide direct interaction, which children need for proper verbal development.

  • Follow your child’s lead: if your child shows a particular interest in a subject, keep talking about it! Ask them questions about it – this gives them the opportunity to express themselves, which also helps them build confidence.

At tuLIPS Speech Therapy, we love working with parents and children of all ages in language development, confidence building, and strengthening social skills.

Contact us at to learn more about how we can help, or you can schedule a consultation by calling us at (415) 567-8133. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Have a Heavy Accent? Learn How Speech Therapy Can Help

Oral communication skills are highly valued in many cultures, including in the American culture. Pronouncing English words, however, can prove tricky for non-native speakers, or those who have a strong regional accent.  

Having a strong accent can make it difficult to communicate in professional or personal interactions, cause confusion, and disrupt the natural flow of communication.

Luckily, there are a number of resources that can help people with strong accents overcome communication difficulties and have more productive, fluid conversations, and speech therapy with accent modification, is one of the best ways improve  the clarity of your speech.


All About Accents

An accent is the unique way that groups of people sound when speaking a language. A person’s accent can be influenced by a number of factors, including the regions where they live and country of origin.

A “regional accent” is common among people who come from different parts of the same country – people from Louisiana, for example, have a different accent when speaking English than people who come from New York.

A “national origin accent” can often be heard in people who have learned English as a second language: someone who is a native English speaker from the United States will sound much different than someone from Belgium, who has learned English as a second language.

All accents are natural: accents are neither good nor bad, and no one accent is “better” than another. It’s also important to note that your accent is not a speech problem or language disorder, but is instead a unique and natural part of you!


Accents & Communication

A person’s accent can say a lot about where they are from, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with being proud of your accent.

However, having a strong accent can make it hard to talk with others – people may not understand what you’re saying, and you may have to repeat yourself multiple times, which can prove frustrating. Additionally, in conversation, people may focus more on your accent than on what you have to say, which can minimize the impact of your message.


Using Speech Therapy to Modify Your Accent

So, what can you do if you feel that your accent is holding you back in communicating with others? The first step is to seek help to modify or reduce your accent for clearer communication:

There are many online resources and activities that can help people develop a more standard American accent, and many communities offer classes and opportunities to practice speaking with others.

Speech therapy, however, is often the best option for individuals who are looking to modify or reduce their accent quickly.


Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists (SLP), can help you to modify your accent for clearer communication in both personal and professional settings. SLPs help people who

  • Speak English as a second language;
  • Want to augment or reduce their regional accent;
  • Want to learn to communicate better at work or in school;
  • Actors who need to develop an accent for a role;
  • Anyone who wants to articulate more clearly when speaking.

Working with a Speech Therapist

Speech therapists will work with you one-on-one, although many also offer small-group classes.


The SLP will want to learn more about you, your background, how you pronounce different words, and how you sound when you speak. The SLP will also want to learn more about your goals to design a custom accent-modification plan that will include exercises to help you modify your accent.


When working with a speech therapist, you may be asked to read different words and phrases aloud. The SLP will then evaluate the rhythm of your speech, and how you stress or emphasize words.  The SLP will also have conversations with you to listen to how you articulate, and help you to modify the intonation and cadence of words.


Whether your goal is to completely “lose” your accent, or simply modify or reduce it, the SLP will work closely with you to help you develop a natural communication style.


Improving your pronunciation of English words, or reducing a strong accent, can help you communicate confidently, and improve your overall communication skills.


The speech therapy experts at tuLIPS help children and adults of all ages  develop more fluid speaking skills, and we’d love to help you!


Schedule a consultation with one of our speech therapy experts at or call us at (415) 567-8133.

You can also learn more about our team here, or more about our accent modification services here – we look forward to speaking with you!

Does Your Child Stutter? How Speech Therapy Can Help

Stuttering is a common speech problem in children. A child who stutters may repeat certain words, phrases or sounds, or even prolong the pronunciation of a single word when trying to speak.

Stuttering can be frustrating for both children and parents. Stuttering can affect your child’s ability to freely express themselves and can even be embarrassing as they attend school and interact with teachers and peers. Noticing stuttering in your child can be both frustrating and confusing, and may leave you feeling unsure on how to help.

If you’ve noticed your child stuttering, understanding what stuttering is, symptoms of stuttering, and how to treat stuttering with speech therapy can provide you with the necessary information and tools to help your child improve their quality of life, develop natural speech patterns, and build confidence when speaking.


Causes of Stuttering

Researchers have identified that stuttering can occur during the natural process of organizing thoughts and words into sentences. Although the true cause of stuttering is not yet known, a combination of factors can affect normal speech patterns, including

  • Family history of stuttering;
  • Developmental disabilities;
  • Problems with speech motor control;
  • Severe medical conditions, including head or brain injury;
  • Emotional and/or mental health problems.

Symptoms of Stuttering in Children


The symptoms of stuttering in children are generally obvious to parents, as their child learns to speak and begins to build their vocabulary, usually between the ages of 2 and 5.

Parents may notice their child struggles to speak or stammers.  There may also be an obvious stutter that affects their speech flow, as your child may repeat the first letter of a “w-w-w-word” in a sentence, for example.


Your child may also prolong the pronunciation of a word, such as “caaaaan I have more?”  They may also repeat entire phrases or sentences, which are also signs of stuttering. Your child may also display one or more physical signs of stuttering, including rolling their head and eyes backward when struggling to speak.  They may also tighten the muscles around their mouth if struggling with motor control.

Stuttering may also increase during certain social interactions, due to nervousness. Your child may even avoid talking in these situations because they fear being teased, or don’t want to draw attention to their speech problems.


Diagnosing Stuttering


You may have already noticed that your child displays some symptoms of stuttering, but a thorough examination and diagnosis with a Speech-Language Pathologist is often the best way learn more about your child’s speech patterns and how to help them improve.


Speech Therapy for Stuttering


Private speech therapy is often the best treatment for children who stutter. Speech therapy offers both children and parents individualized treatment plans and custom speech-development exercises that will help your child communicate  freely and effectively. Speech therapists work one-on-one with your child to teach them strategies during the onset of a stutter.

Additionally, because each child who stutters is different, speech therapy is often the best way to to help improve your child’s speech patterns, as they can identify which techniques will be most effective for them. Speech therapists may also recommend strategies you can do at home with your child to reinforce the techniques learned in the therapist’s office.


Helping Your Child


As your child improves their speech, it is important to be patient and avoid disciplining them for stuttering. Try to avoid putting your child in stressful situations that make their stuttering worse, while they  are being treated.

Be sure to make eye contact with your child when they are speaking to help them feel comfortable and relaxed. When spending time with them, allow them to express themselves freely, and avoid making them feel ashamed or embarrassed about their stuttering.

Lastly, explore speech therapy, give your child the opportunity to practice the strategies learned in therapy to reduce their stuttering, and help them build confidence that will last for years to come.

If your child shows signs and symptoms of stuttering, we can help!  Contact Tulips Speech Therapy to learn how our team of expert speech-development therapists can help your child reduce stuttering and build fluid, confident speech. Learn more about our team here.

You may also contact us at to schedule a consultation.

Tulips Speech Therapy provides provides custom, private speech therapy treatments for children and adults in the San Francisco Bay area.