Authors: Orjada SA, Beeson PM
Title: Concurrent treatment for reading and spelling in aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2005 19(3-5): 341-351
Year: 2005
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Behavioural treatments for impairments of written language have had positive therapeutic effects in patients with alexia and agraphia. However, few researchers have documented the effect of concurrent administration of treatments for reading and writing. Combined treatment has the potential to be an efficient means of rehabilitation for individuals with both reading and spelling impairments. Aims: The present study was designed to examine the therapeutic value of a concurrent treatment for reading and spelling. The goals of treatment were to increase reading accuracy and rate for text and to improve spelling accuracy for single words. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: An individual with chronic aphasia, alexia, and agraphia participated in the treatment, which consisted of a combination of Oral Reading Treatment (ORT) and Copy and Recall Treatment (CART) that was conducted for 10 weeks. Repeated probes at the beginning of each session were used to determine progress and maintenance of treatment gains. Additional language assessments were administered before and after treatment. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Large treatment effects were obtained for reading accuracy of personally relevant scripts and spelling of targeted words, and gains were maintained on follow-up probes. Reading rate for practiced text also improved, but did not generalise when reading new text. Pre- and post-treatment measures indicated significant improvement in reading and spelling of functors not specifically targeted in treatment, and increased grammatical complexity of spoken language. In addition, oral language performance as measured by the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) showed clinically significant improvement. CONCLUSIONS: Concurrent reading and spelling treatment was successful in this patient with moderate aphasia. It appears to be an efficient way to effect change in written and spoken language in individuals with aphasia.

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