Authors: Robson J, Pring T, Marshall J, Morrison S, Chiat S
Title: Written communication in undifferentiated jargon aphasia: a therapy study
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 1998 33(3): 305-328
Year: 1998
Research Design: Single Case Design

A subject, R.M.M., with a 2-year history of jargon aphasia is described. At the beginning of this study she had minimal meaningful spoken output and showed little awareness of her speech despite having relatively well-presented auditory comprehension. Her spoken output had proved resistant to earlier periods of therapy. In contrast, R.M.M.'s written output showed some ability to access orthographic information and monitoring of this modality was shown by an acute awareness of her errors. A 3-stage therapy programme is described. This was designed to improve R.M.M.'s writing of single words and to encourage use of writing as an alternative means of communication. The initial stage of therapy aimed to increase R.M.M.'s access to written word forms by use of picture stimuli. She showed significant improvement in writing treated items in response to pictures both immediately after therapy and at re-assessment 6 weeks later. Despite the acquisition of these skills, R.M.M. failed to use them in communicative contexts. A second stage of therapy replicated the results of the first and sought to facilitate R.M.M's functional use of her written vocabulary by asking her to write words to spoken questions. She again showed improved written naming of the treated items and could now produce written names appropriately in a questionnaire-type assessment. Generalization of this ability extended to items that had not been trained in this way. Functional use of writing in everyday communication remained absent, however. The final stage of therapy made explicit the potential links between items which R.M.M. could now write and functional messages which they might convey. She again showed significant changes in the acquisition of new vocabulary and, encouragingly, progress was also seen in her use of the strategy in functional communication.

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