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WALC 5 Neurological Rehab
Workbook of Activities for Language and Cognition
Ages: Adults   Grades: Adults

Improve orientation, memory, organization, problem solving, reasoning, and written expression with this compilation of functional activities.  Clients improve the way they process information and respond appropriately to the world around them. 

Outcomes

  • Improve orientation and memory
  • Make gains in organization and problem solving
  • Comprehend abstract language
  • Improve functional written expression
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Convenient, ready-to-use activities are supplemented with suggestions for further activities for caregivers and patients.  The activities are organized into these skill areas:

Orientation
Activities target orientation to environment, temporal and spatial orientation, and orientation to immediate and past events.  Response formats include multiple-choice questions, yes/no questions, and open questions.

Memory
Clients practice immediate recall of digit sequences, related and unrelated word sequences, and information in functional reading activities. 

Organization
Clients sequence the steps in everyday tasks and categorize words.    

Verbal Problem Solving
Improve judgment and problem solving ability by discussing problems encountered in the areas of medical, safety, household, daily living, financial, and community living.  The questions are written in an open-ended format to encourage discussion.

Abstract Reasoning
Includes activities to help clients understand figurative language.  Improve social interactions with practice in the expression of personal feelings and interpretation of others' emotions.   

Writing
Begin with tracing and copying the alphabet and progress through copying and writing letters, phrases, and sentences. 

 

Copyright © 2003

Components
180 pages, answer key
  • Evidence exists for the effectiveness of several forms of cognitive rehabilitation for people with stroke (remediation of language and perception after left and right hemisphere stroke, respectively) and traumatic brain injury (remediation of attention, memory, functional communication, and executive functioning) (Cicerone et al., 2000).
  • There is evidence that individuals with aphasia who receive speech and language treatment have significantly better outcomes than those individuals with aphasia who do not receive treatment (Hickin, Best, Herbert, Howard, & Osborn, 2003).
  • The training of general and specific personal compensatory strategies is an important functional approach to cognitive-communication intervention (Hartley, 1995).
  • Processes of attention form the foundation for all other cognitive processes, including those necessary for accurate information processing and storage.  Attention is necessary for memory processing and for linguistic and nonlinguistic perception and comprehension (Hartley, 1995).
  • Speech-language pathologists' roles in treatment of individuals with cognitive-communication disorders include training discrete cognitive processes, teaching specific functional skills, and developing compensatory strategies and support systems (ASHA, 2005).
  • Attention and language processing interact in aphasia (Helm-Estabrooks & Albert, 2004).

WALC 5 Neuro Rehab incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2005). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of individuals with cognitive-communication disorders [Position Statement]. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from www.asha.org/policy

Cicerone, K., Dahlberg, C., Kalmar, K., Langenbahn, D., Malec, J., Bergquist, T., . . . Morse, P.A. (2000). Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation: Recommendations for clinical practice. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 81(12), 1596-1615.

Hartley, L.L. (1995). Cognitive-communicative abilities following brain injury: A functional approach. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.

Helm-Estabrooks, N., & Albert, M.L. (2004). Manual of aphasia and aphasia therapy (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: PRO-ED, Inc.

Hickin, J., Best, W., Herbert, R., Howard, D., & Osborn, F. (2003). Therapy for word finding difficulties in aphasia: Measuring the impact on real-life communication. Proceedings of the Fifth European Congress of CPLOL.

Author(s)

Lisa Arnold

Biography

Lisa Arnold, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, received her undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.  She has worked in a variety of settings, including a community speech and hearing center, acute and rehab hospitals, public school systems, private practice, and home health care agencies.  She is currently a speech-language pathologist in Henry County Public Schools in McDonough, Georgia.  Lisa is also the author of The Source for Aphasia Therapy and The Long-Term Care Companion.

Introduction

The Workbook for Language Activities and Cognition 5 (WALC 5) was developed to increase cognitive skills for higher-level language processes in clients who have had neurological incidents.  Your clients should find these language tasks fun and interesting because they come from their own daily experiences.

The activities in the following sections are easily adaptable for a wide variety of adult age groups.  Each chapter includes compensatory strategies to help clients achieve success during language remediation and throughout their lives.

  • Orientation
    This section focuses on increasing your client's knowledge and level of awareness of his immediate environment, of the events that led him to his current situation, and of the remote happenings of his past that may have been lost. A client questionnaire is located on page 8 of this section. The questionnaire is an easy way to collect vital information that may be used to individualize each client's therapy.
  • Memory
    This section is a good starting point for clients who have decreased memory and attention skills.  You may want to begin therapy by explaining to your clients how important it is to focus their attention and concentration.  It is sometimes helpful to equate this type of attention and concentration to the type teachers demand during school years.
  • Organization and Verbal Problem Solving
    These sections deal with everyday living experiences and new problems your clients may face following neurological incidents.  Completion of these two sections will help clients who have deficits in these areas become more independent.
  • Abstract Reasoning
    This section can be a very positive portion of the therapeutic process.  Clients and caregivers alike will have a strong interest in this area as they are surprised at how often people use abstract reasoning in everyday life.  This skill seems to be taken for granted until it is identified as a deficit area for a client.
  • Writing
    Writing tasks are included for clients with higher levels of cognitive functioning.  It is quite appropriate for them to begin writing again.  Oftentimes, clients have written their own checks and taken care of family business prior to their neurological incidents.  They may feel a loss when this activity is taken away from them.  It is an empowering experience for clients to take back former responsibilities.  This section provides practice writing from a language enrichment perspective as well as a mechanical and visual perception perspective.

WALC 5 has been a vital tool for me in cognitive therapy with the geriatric population.  It has livened up therapy sessions and has brought the geriatric population very close to my heart.  Hopefully, as you use this manual, you'll learn more about yourself as a clinician and will come to appreciate the unique rewards gained from serving anyone who needs neurological rehabilitation.

Lisa