Authors: Beeson PM, Higginson K, Rising K
Title: Writing Treatment for Aphasia: A Texting Approach
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2013 56(3): 945-955
Year: 2013
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: Treatment studies have documented the therapeutic and functional value of lexical writing treatment for individuals with severe aphasia. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such retraining could be accomplished using the typing feature of a cellular telephone, with the ultimate goal of using text messaging for communication. Method: A 31-year-old man with persistent Broca's aphasia, severe apraxia of speech, global dysgraphia, and right hemiparesis participated in this study. Using a multiple baseline design, relearning and maintenance of single-word spellings (and oral naming) of targeted items were examined in response to traditional Copy and Recall Treatment (CART) for handwriting and a new paradigm using 1-handed typing on a cell phone keyboard (i.e., a texting version of CART referred to as T-CART). Results: Marked improvements were documented in spelling and spoken naming trained in either modality, with stronger maintenance for handwriting than cell phone typing. Training resulted in functional use of texting that continued for 2 years after treatment. Conclusions: These results suggest that orthographic retraining using a cell phone keyboard has the potential to improve spelling knowledge and provide a means to improve functional communication skills. Combined training with both handwriting and cell phone typing should be considered in order to maximize the durability of treatment effects.

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