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WALC 10 Memory
Workbook of Activities for Language and Cognition
Ages: 16-Adult   Grades: 11-Adult

Clients focus on their strengths to identify memory strategies that work, then practice and apply their memory strategies to new contexts.  


  • Identify the client's preferred memory system
  • Use memory strategies to follow directions and recall information
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
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WALC 10 Memory begins with a series of activities to determine the client's dominant coding system (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic).  Clients recognize memory strategies they already use and the value of learning new ones.   The rest of the book focuses on learning and practicing memory strategies.  The lessons are organized by these memory strategies:      

Word/Mental Picture Associations
Recall information using associations such as part/whole, category, action/agent (e.g., wrapping/present), attributes, and location.

Chaining Word Lists
Create chains of word associations and recall lists of information.

Following Written and Oral Directions
Follow two- and three-step directions.  Make mental images of what the directions request and then carry them out.

Recalling Boxed Information
Clients study the placement of shapes, numbers, and words in boxes and code it for later recall.

First Letter Mnemonics
Take the first letter of each word in a list of words and create a new word from those letters.

Word List Retention
Clients develop mental flexibility as they practice memory strategies with the added factors of inclusion (e.g., Which words were first and last in the list?) and exclusion (e.g., Which ones are not soft?).  

Associated Visual Pairs
Associate two visual items and then recall one of the items using a memory/coding strategy.

Name-Picture Association
Clients practice coding people's names to their faces. 

Memory for Numbers and Sentences
Learn strategies for recalling number sequences and lengthy sentences.

Picture Associations
Develop associations between objects, between people and objects, and between people and places. 

Memory for Shapes and Pictures
Clients use various memory strategies to name, duplicate, and answer questions about shapes and pictures.

Sorting and Remembering Categories
Code and recall words and pictured items by creating categories for them. 

Functional Memory Tasks
Read or listen to messages, directions, paragraphs, and informative articles and recall pertinent information.

Memory and Mental Manipulation
Clients remember words and repeat them back in a variety of ways including backwards, alphabetically, in order of size, etc. 


Copyright © 2007

186 pages, answer key
  • Intervention should address processing varied types of information in various activities and settings (e.g., ability to attend to, perceive, organize, and remember verbal and nonverbal information, including social cues, reasoning, and problem solving) (ASHA, 2004).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Therapy should be conducted within natural communication environments (NSA, 2005).
  • Rehabilitation is an important part of recovering from a stroke.  The goal is to regain as much independence as possible (NSA, 2005).

WALC 10 Memory incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2004). Preferred practice patterns for the procession of speech-language pathology. Retrieved March 12, 2010, from

National Stroke Association (NSA). (2005). Clinical guidelines for stroke rehabilitation and recovery. Retrieved March 12, 2010, from

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


Kathryn J. Tomlin


Kathryn J. Tomlin, M.S., CCC-SLP, has been working with clients who have memory loss for over 25 years, and the techniques in this book have evolved through her experiences.  She has authored many materials with LinguiSystems over the last 20 years.  Some of her works include:

  • The Source for Apraxia Therapy
  • WALC 1 Aphasia Rehab (English and Spanish versions)
  • WALC 2 Cognitive Rehab (English and Spanish versions)
  • WALC 8 Word Finding
  • WALC 9 Verbal and Visual Reasoning
  • WALC 11 Language for Home Activities

Zanmi, Kathy's Samoyed, goes to work with her to encourage clients.  Her clients enjoy feeding and spending time with Zanmi, and Zanmi enjoys their company.  Everybody wins!


Working with clients who are experiencing memory loss, no matter the degree, is extremely challenging and can be frustrating for both you and your client.  WALC 10 Memory has been written to add some structure to that challenge and to reduce possible factors which may interfere with your client's attempts to reestablish her skills.

There are two main factors underlying all the exercises in WALC 10:

  1. To initially make all of the processes involved with memory highly intentional.
    The most common erroneous belief a client frequently expresses is that she has never used memory strategies.  It is imperative to help her understand that although she is unaware of it, all memory skills are tied to some kind of strategy.  It's just that the strategies functioned more on an automatic (habit) basis prior to the injury or illness.  As your client improves with intentional use of strategies, the emergence of spontaneous, automatic use frequently occurs.  The ultimate goal is for the client's memory skills to return to a functional, automatic level once again.
  2. To focus on retraining processes as opposed to content.
    As you learn about your client's predominant system for learning and coding information, and then instruct her on this information (remember, it's a goal to make everything highly intentional), you will constantly focus on the processes she is using, identifying which portions of the process work and which don't, and aiding her to develop strategies for compensation and remediation.

Working with emphasis on the process requires active and constant therapeutic intervention initially but as your client's awareness and abilities increase, she will take on more of the training responsibilities herself.  As skills increase, your client will frequently begin telling you of times she has found success using her memory skills outside the therapeutic situation.

I devised the exercises in WALC 10 for use primarily with individuals who have suffered from a head injury, a non-dominant hemispheric stroke (usually a right CVA), and other neurological deficits resulting from various causes (e.g., Lyme's Disease, anoxia, Moya Moya Disease).  In addition, the exercises have also had a positive effect with clients with aphasia and with students who have been referred for therapeutic intervention for learning disabilities and ADD.  Success becomes apparent as the client's functional interaction with life situations increases (e.g., social interaction, employment, schooling).

Each section in this book has an introductory page with information about the tasks, including an explanation about the process to be used for the tasks.  Task instructions are addressed to the therapist primarily because this book has been designed as a teaching manual for identifying, using, and learning visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) representational systems for improving memory skills.

In addition, a client requires assistance from another party for making his use of strategies intentional and for receiving feedback on effectiveness.  In addition to being a therapeutic intervention tool, WALC 10 is also a professional growth resource.  As you focus on the visual and auditory learning styles of clients to retrain their memory skills, your repertoire of skills used in all areas of language and cognitive-communication therapy will be enhanced.  The skills and processes used in this book can be transferred to the retraining of reading, writing, verbal expression, and auditory comprehension, as well as cognitive-communication skills required for organization, problem solving, reasoning, and integration of all communication abilities.

Although WALC 10 only touches upon the intricacies involved in memory, I hope it becomes a catalyst for growth for each person who uses it.