Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thinking Beyond Language: Intervention for Severe Aphasia

Nina Simmons-Mackie

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA

Purpose: This article addresses several intervention approaches that aim to improve life for individuals with severe aphasia. Because severe aphasia significantly compromises language, often for the long term, recommended approaches focus on additional domains that affect quality of life. Treatments are discussed that involve increasing participation in personally relevant life situations, enhancing environmental support for communication and participation, and improving communicative confidence.

Methods: Interventions that have been suggested in the aphasia literature as particularly appropriate for people with severe aphasia include training in total communication, training of communication partners, and activity specific training.

Conclusion: Several intervention approaches can be implemented to enhance life with severe aphasia.

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