Authors: Beeson PM, Hirsch FM, Rewega MA
Title: Successful single-word writing treatment: Experimental analyses of four cases
Source: Aphasiology 2002 16(4-6): 473-491
Year: 2002
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Individuals with severe aphasia may fail to regain spoken language, so that treatment should target other communication modalities such as writing. There is relatively limited documentation of successful writing treatment, particularly in individuals with severe aphasia. AIMS: The present study was designed to examine treatment outcomes in response to two writing treatment protocols intended to rebuild single-word vocabulary for written communication. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Writing treatments were implemented with four individuals who had significant aphasia and severe agraphia. Two participants received Anagram and Copy Treatment (ACT) which involved arrangement of component letters and repeated copying of target words, along with a homework programme called Copy and Recall Treatment (CART) that included copying and recall of target words. The other two participants received the homework-based CART only. Single-subject multiple-baseline designs were used with sets of words sequentially targeted for treatment. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: All four participants responded positively to treatment. Three of the participants had severely limited spoken language, so that mastery of written words provided a much-needed means of communication. The fourth participant, who had adequate spoken language for face-to-face conversation, employed his improved spelling for written messages such as e-mail. CONCLUSIONS: Single-word writing abilities may improve with treatment despite long times post onset and persistent impairments to spoken language.

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