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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program - Module 3 10-31-10

Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program - Module 3
The Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program (BCAT) takes advantage of the powerful recovery and re-connective potential of brain plasticity.  BCAT brings together the best of aphasia research, neuroscience, learning theory and the clinical expertise of our speech/language pathologists (SLP). We blend this combination with the determination and effort or the person with aphasia using our innovative techniques and tools to achieve his/her goals.  To view some examples of our client's outcomes visit .
BCAT consists of 15 component treatment modules, 61 guiding treatment principles, 88 unique treatment protocols (sets of activities with specific goals) with accompanying materials; and 2 software programs with over 500 stimulus sets.

 The component treatment modules include:
 1. The Viking Module for Apraxia
 2. Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds
 3. The AphasiaPhonics Module for Phonological Elements of Aphasia
 4. The Lexical -- Semantic Module for Word Recall Anomia
 5. The Speaking in Sentences Module for Syntactic Reconnection
 6. The Prosody Module for Sentence Intonation, Word Stress and Phrasal   timing
 7. Keyboarding for Alexia, Agraphia and Screen Literacy
 8. The Numerology Module for Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers and Concepts
 9. The Speech Acts Module for Intent and Communicative Responsiveness
10. The Pragmatics Module for Language In Action
11. The Cognitive Underpinnings Module for Memory, Attention and Mental 13. Resource Allocation
12. The Morphing Module for Morphological Difficulties
13. The Reading Module for Acquired Alexia
14. The Movement Module for Limb Apraxia
15. Groups for Peer Engagement, Practice and Support

For more information visit or contact us at 724.494.2534 or .
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This is the third in a series of newsletters that explain in more detail each of the component modules of our Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program (BCAT).  The topic for this newsletter is the AphasiaPhonics for Phonological Elements of Aphasia Module.
Early in childhood, children learn to talk acquiring skills in recognizing (decoding) and saying (encoding) speech sounds.  They also learn to read (decode) and write (encode) in letters incorporating their knowledge of and skill in producing speech sounds 1.   This learning experience creates a very strong relationship between speaking and reading that lasts a lifetime.  It is this powerful bond, forged by phonics, between sounds and letters that we utilize in the AphasiaPhonics Module as we help people with aphasia (PWA) read, write, and most importantly, talk again.  Moreover, this phonics connection from childhood is the reason why we have made use of the many treatment techniques used by speech pathologists who work with phonological disorders in children in development of the AphasiaPhonics module. 

We created the AphasiaPhonics Module to take advantage of this residual sound-letter connection that PWA still have.  We created dozens of innovative treatment protocols and hundreds of stimuli lists on our software program (the Aphasia Sight Reader) that we use to make a therapeutic learning environment that takes full advantage of this phonics connection.  The PWA's ability to transcribe these sounds into phonetic symbols complement the his/her efforts .

Phonics involves teaching how to connect the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters and teaching learners how to blend the sounds of letters to pronounce unknown or unfamiliar words. The goal of AphasiaPhonics is to help the client reconnectthe sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters and to blend the sounds of letters to pronounce words left unfamiliar due to phonological aphasia .  Reconnecting word familiarity is a core building block in the AphasiaPhonics module.  The AphasiaPhonics aphasia rehabilitation module uses multiple approaches including reading, writing, keyboarding, spelling, talking, gesturing, listening, and thinking.  

The benefits of this module are:

It helps the client to think in sounds4.
It helps the client to reconnect normal mental processes for decoding and encoding 5, 6. 
It improves the client's ability to develop phoneme sequence knowledge.
It improve the client's phonological working memory.
It provides a platform to address phonological working memory problems 7.
It improves the client's ability to say words with more than two syllables.
It helps the client to take advantage of residual abilities with the letter-sound relationship.

Some the short-term objectives for the AphasiaPhonics module are:

The client will be able to:
explain the relationship between sounds and letters and words.
say aloud, using short term working memory, two words with different spellings but the same sounds (homonyms).
say aloud, using short term working memory, 3 words that increase in length from 1 to 3 syllables (increasing syllables).
using working memory, decide it a string of letters is a real word, then type word and a brief definition.
using verbal working memory and alternating attention, think of a rhyming word given a semantic cue.
type the phonetic symbols for a printed word, then type the spelling of its homonym.
using verbal working memory,  provide a synonym, antonym and rhyming word for a target word.

The AphasiaPhonics Program for phonological elements of aphasia
a.    The Visual Definition of Aphasia
b.    AphasiaPhonics - concepts
c.     Vowels
                                               i.     Jaw positions
                                             ii.     Around the Mouth
                                            iii.     Alternating Vowels
                                            iv.     Vowel Sequences From Memory
                                              v.     Continuous Phonation - Diphthongs
                                            vi.     V to VC words
d.    Vowels Become Pronouns ( subjective; objective; possessive; demonstratives; interrogatives )
e.    Minimal Pair Vowel Insertions
f.      The Bronx Cheer
g.    Oh Boy! ( Assigned Letters, Through the Alphabet )
h.    Increasing Syllables
i.      Lexical-Semantic Meltdowns
j.      Phonological Assembly
k.     Pronunciation Rules
l.      Irregular Past Tense Verbs
m.  Spelling Random Anagrams - Making Lexical Decisions
n.    Spelling Random Anagrams - Semantic Category
o.    Spelling Random Anagrams Using Spelling Patterns
p.    Rhyme, Synonym, Antonym Word Recall
q.    Homonyms
r.      Minimal Pairs
s.    Morphing: Nouns to Verbs
t.      Morphing: Verbs to Nouns
u.    Morphing: Derivational Switching
v.     Morphing: suffixing
w.   Morphing: prefixing
x.     Sound Embedded Verbs
y.     Heteronyms
b.    GROUPS:
a.    Words Turn Me On
b.    Bootcamps

If you are a speech pathologist and feel that your clients may benefit from this type of program, or if you would like to consult with us for its use in your practice, email us or call 724.494.2534

1 Talcott, Joel, Witton, Caroline, McLean, Maggie, Hansen, Peter, Rees, Adrian, Green Gary, and Stein, John, Dynamic Sensory Sensitivity and Children's Word Decoding Skills, Precedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March14,2000, vol.97 no. 6, 2952-2957 

Connors, William, Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds Module, Newsletter, October, 2010,

Berndt, R.S., Handbook of Neuropsychology, 2nd edition, 2001  Vol 3, 123

Kendall, Diane, Rosenbek, John, Heilman, Kenneth, Conway, Tim, Klenberg, Karen, Gonzalez Rothi, Leslie, and Nadeau, Stepehn ; Phoneme-based rehabilitation of anomia in aphasia, Brain and Language, 105, (2008) 1-17

Corsten, S., Mende, M., Cholewa, J,. and Huber, W., Treatment of input and output phonology in aphasia: A single case study,
Aphasiology, Vol. 21, No. 6-8. (2007), pp. 587-603. 

Elizabeth M. Christy, Nora L. Watson, Rhonda B. Friedman, The Role of Phonological Working Memory in Phonological Alexia Brain and Language 99 (2006) 8--219
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