Aphasia is a communication disorder often caused by stroke. It affects the ability to understand, talk, read and write. People with aphasia rarely receive treatment from NHS speech and language therapists for more than 3 months. It has been established that people with aphasia can continue to improve their communication with prolonged treatment (beyond 12 months), but this is rarely available.
Remote technologies provide access to people that cannot easily get to clinic
It has already been shown service delivery via Internet video conferencing could make remote interactions with clients part of routine practice. As well as videolink therapy; online technological applications are effective in helping people with aphasia restore language. They can also enable individuals to compensate for langauge difficulties.
- Sentence shaper allows individuals to build sentences and longer phrases from “snippets”. These snippets are made up from recordings of a word or short phrase, using the program’s built-in sound recorder.
- Step-by-Step is a computer program designed to help people to practise exercises to improve their ability to find the correct words when they are talking.
- And of course, Mable will offer both video link and online applications to support language rehabilitation in patients with aphasia
interestingly, the National institute for Health Research together with the University of Sheffield are funding a Big CACTUS study which aims to compare computer therapy with attention control and usual care to see if use of computer software with assistance from a volunteer/speech therapy assistant can improve the ability of people with aphasia to talk
This research will establish whether people with aphasia can continue to improve their ability to talk after completion of traditional NHS therapy, and whether this can be achieved cost effectively by offering computer treatment at home.
Lets hope the outcome of this research will increase access to Speech and Langauge Therapy for those that require it.
In the meantime….checkout Mable
For more information on the Big Cactus project
Information from leading specialist Professor Jane Marshall here