The Changing “Face” of Aphasia Therapy Purpose: Clinicians and researchers are searching for cost effective ways to deliver intensive aphasia treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe one method of providing less costly but intensive treatment via a computer software program called AphasiaScriptsTM. Method: First, we describe the unique, interactive computer software program developed ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2008
The Changing “Face” of Aphasia Therapy
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jaime B. Lee
    Center for Aphasia Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Leora R. Cherney
    Center for Aphasia Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2008
The Changing “Face” of Aphasia Therapy
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2008, Vol. 18, 15-23. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.1.15
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2008, Vol. 18, 15-23. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.1.15
Abstract

Purpose: Clinicians and researchers are searching for cost effective ways to deliver intensive aphasia treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe one method of providing less costly but intensive treatment via a computer software program called AphasiaScriptsTM.

Method: First, we describe the unique, interactive computer software program developed for individuals with aphasia to practice conversations that have been individually scripted for them. In AphasiaScriptsTM, an avatar serves as the virtual therapist or conversational partner. The simplicity of the user interface allows the person with aphasia to quickly learn how to use the program and to manage the level of supportive cueing needed. Second, we clarify the role of the speech-language pathologist in the light of new technology that allows the person with aphasia to practice these conversations intensively and independently.

Conclusions: AphasiaScriptsTM serves as an example of a software program that makes use of advanced computer technology, yet still requires the clinical expertise of the speech-language pathologist.

Acknowledgment
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by Grant H133B031127 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. AphasiaScriptsTM is a trademark of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; however, the software is not commercially available at this time. The authors acknowledge the many individuals involved in the development of the software and the implementation of the research study, including Anita Halper, Edna Babbitt, Rosalind Hurwitz and Rosalind Kaye in the Center for Aphasia Research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Ronald Cole at Boulder Language Technologies; Sarel Van Vuuren and Nattawut Ngampatipatpong at the Center for Spoken Language Research, University of Colorado, Boulder; and Audrey Holland, who has served as a consultant on this project.
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