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WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab
Workbook of Activities for Language and Cognition
Ages: 16-Adult   Grades: 11-Adult

These time-tested exercises train the underlying processes of language with tasks that gradually progress in difficulty.   

Outcomes

  • Improve processing of auditory, graphic, and visual information
  • Improve word retrieval and functional language
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Written in the best-selling format of the WALC series, these activities have:   

  • easy-to-read format
  • simple, concise language
  • application to a wide range of acquired language disorders
  • consistent progression of complexity within and between tasks

Activities are organized by five skill areas:

Matching and Identification
Tasks begin simply, with single, more concrete items and progress to more complex tasks.  The tasks are receptive.  Clients match shapes, letters of the alphabet, and words.  Then, they match written words, phrases, and sentences to pictures.

Following Commands
Clients follow oral and written directions requiring comprehension of body parts, objects, prepositions (e.g., over, out), and adjectives (e.g., heaviest, shortest). 

Vocabulary
These activities target deficits in comprehension and expression.  Clients choose words and supply words to complete word pairs, familiar phrases, and synonyms.  Other tasks include matching words to simple definitions and clues; naming items by word class; and supplying item functions and descriptions.

Answering Questions
The client either listens to, or reads a sentence, and answers simple wh- questions.  The questions require one-, two-, and three-word responses.  Yes/no questions about object functions progress from simple (e.g., Do boats float?) to more complex and abstract (e.g., Is a road wider than a sidewalk?).  Comparison, before/after, and simple reasoning questions round out the activities.   

Functional Language
These activities build on the previous units by increasing the complexity and content level.  Questions may have more than one right answer or require expression of opinions.  Tasks include cloze phrase and sentence completion, open sentence completion, paragraph comprehension, paragraph fill-in-the-blanks, predicting from a short story, and formulating short stories. 

 

Copyright © 2002

Components
222 pages, answer key
  • Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is a fundamental human need.  Meeting this need by facilitating and enhancing communication in any form can be vital to a patient's well-being (NSA, 2005).
  • Rehabilitation is an important part of recovering from a stroke, and the goal is to regain as much independence as possible (NSA, 2005).
  • In an extensive review of the literature, Holland, Fromm, DeRuyter, and Stein (1996) found aphasia treatment to be efficacious and that it benefited the majority of individuals with aphasia in comparison to no treatment groups.
  • Therapy should include tasks that focus on semantic processing, including semantic cueing of spoken output, semantic judgments, categorization, and word-to-picture matching (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Therapy may target the comprehension and production of complex, as well as simple, sentence forms (Taylor-Goh, 2005).

WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

Holland, A.L., Fromm, D.S., DeRuyter, F., & Stein, M. (1996). Treatment efficacy: Aphasia. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, S27-S36.

National Stroke Association (NSA). (2005). Clinical guidelines for stroke rehabilitation and recovery. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/_files/cp105.pdf

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.

Author(s)

Kathryn J. Tomlin

Biography

For more than 25 years, Kathryn J. Tomlin, M.S., CCC-SLP, has worked with children, adolescents and adults with impairments in communication, oral-motor skills, and swallowing due to various etiologies.  She is also the author of these therapy books:

  • WALC 2 Cognitive Rehab
  • WALC 8 Word Finding
  • WALC 9 Verbal and Visual Reasoning
  • WALC 10 Memory
  • WALC 11 Language for Home Activities
  • The Source for Apraxia Therapy

Zanmi, Kathy's Samoyed, goes to work with her to encourage the clients.  They enjoy feeding and spending time with Zanmi, and Zanmi distracts them from their present situations and their communication difficulties.  Everybody wins!

Introduction

The exercises in WALC 1 (Workbook of Activities for Language and Cognition) Aphasia Rehab emerged as I was working with adolescent and adult clients who exhibited difficulties with auditory and visual comprehension and/or oral and written expression.  The majority of these clients exhibited aphasia due to stroke or head injury.  These exercises have also proved to be very useful with clients who have language difficulties resulting from various pathologies (e.g., central auditory processing disorders) as well as neurologic changes due to illnesses (e.g., Lyme disease).

The underlying principle for the materials in WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab is based on teaching processes as opposed to content.  My focus has been on teaching strategies and I have discovered that few publications contain a sufficient amount of stimulus items to insure acquisition of the strategy.  Most available material does not provide an internal hierarchical order which reflects an increase in degree of difficulty within a task and from task to task as the client builds upon the strategies of processes he is relearning how to use.

The exercises in WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab have been used for many years by speech-language pathologists and other specialists (e.g., cognitive therapists, occupational therapists) with a wide variety of clients.  The content and format have proved to be an excellent therapy supplement for trained professionals, clients' families, and clients.

However one uses WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab, it is my sincere hope that the exercises are helpful and that each and every client will benefit from having used them.

Kathy