Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Aphasia treatment starts after you and your speech therapist have identified specific goals. Treatment will be person- and family-centered. This approach incorporates counseling, emotional support, education, and the teaching of specific skills to facilitate successful communication.
Treatment is usually a mix of restoring lost function and learning strategies to compensate for lost function. The ultimate goal of treatment for aphasia is to improve communication success, quality of life, and increase participation in daily living.
Here are some common treatments for people with aphasia. Not all of these are appropriate for everyone with aphasia. Treatment decisions are made based on the individual's language strengths/weaknesses, goals, and communication needs.
Utilizes computers and other technology (e.g., iPads, tablets, smart phones, etc.) to target language.
Constrain-Induced Language Therapy (CILT)
CILT is a treatment approach that encourages spoken language while constraining the use of gestures, drawing, and writing. The goal is to improve verbal speech.
This approach aims at improve communication by practicing scripted conversations. This method has been integrated into a computer program called "Aphasia Scripts". Aphasia Scripts is compatible with a Windows operating system and a PC or laptop computer.
Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)
MIT uses musical elements to increase verbal speech. This approach takes advantage of the unaffected right hemisphere by tapping with the left hand while singing. Therapy targets simple words and phrases and slowly over time fades out singing. This treatment is often used with individuals who have severe nonfluent aphasia (Broca's aphasia).
Multiple Oral Reading (MOR)
Involves re-reading text aloud to improve reading and reading rate. This is best suited for those with relatively intact letter-by-letter reading or single-word reading/comprehension.
Oral Reading for Language in Aphasia (ORLA)
Involves repeated practice of reading sentences aloud with the speech therapist to improve reading comprehension. There is also a computer program that can be done by the client themselves. The ORLA computer software is not compatible with Apple computers.
Promoting Aphasic's Communication Effectiveness (PACE)
PACE targets conversational skills. The speech therapist and client take turns as the speaker and the listener. The speaker has a picture card or message that they need to communicate to the listener. The speaker can use verbal speech, gestures, drawing, or writing to communicate the message.
Semantic Feature Analysis Treatment (SFA)
A word-finding treatment, where the client describes words by answering a set of questions. SFA works best for clients with mild to moderate aphasia and Wernicke's/fluent aphasia.
Sentence Production Program for Aphasia (SPPA)
A treatment to increase production of various sentence types. This treatment utilizes stories and has two levels of difficulty.
This treatment involves the clinician and client to practice a scripted speech until it can be produced effortlessly. This script increases participation in activities the person with aphasia enjoys. For example, ordering a drink at a favorite coffee shop.
Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST)
This treatment targets basic sentence forms. The client is given a verb and then chooses the appropriate agent/subject and objects to create simple sentences.
Your speech-language pathologist (SLP) can help decide which treatment approach is appropriate for you or your loved one.
Visit SLVS therapy to learn more about how Emily Roll M.S., CCC-SLP can help.