Aphasia Therapy Ideas
Aphasia is the partial or total loss of a person’s ability to communicate ideas or to understand spoken or written language. It’s caused by brain damage from injury or illness. There are no medical or surgical procedures to treat aphasia but the condition can be improved through aphasia therapy activities.
Activities for Aphasia Recovery
- Physical Exercise
- Most aphasia patients have weakness on the right side of their body. It is important for them to exercise regularly to prevent their muscles from being further weakened. To address the aphasia, therapists have patients make facial expressions (i.e., frowning or smiling), and ask them to repeat certain words to exercise speech and facial muscles.
- Chewing food and swallowing are another way for patients to strengthen their jaw and tongue, and it is likely a popular exercise.
- Picture Boards
- People with aphasia have trouble recollecting names of people, things, or activities. A picture board holds images of everyday objects and activities. Patients point to the pictures to help them communicate their thoughts to others.
- Picture Cards
- Patients are given cards with pictures of ordinary objects on them. These are used to help the patient gain word recall skills. The cards cue the patient visually which facilitates the learning process and increases the patient’s vocabulary. When the patient repetitively says the name of the card’s object, it strengthens their speech muscles and improves vocalization.
- Completing workbooks with reading and writing exercises increases a patient’s ability to recall, read, and write names. Patient’s sometimes read aloud from the workbook to regain hearing comprehension.
- Computer programs have been developed to treat aphasia. They help with the patient’s reading, recall, speech, and audio comprehension. It also engages the sense of hearing and seeing together which shortens the learning process.
- PACE (Promoting Aphasic’s Communicative Effectiveness)
- PACE is therapy through conversation. Pictures, drawings, and objects are used to stimulate spontaneous communication between patient and therapist.