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Improving Functional Outcomes in Aphasia

December 5–17, 2018 | Online Conference

Session Descriptions

These pre-recorded lectures are on-demand and last only an hour, so you can listen to them whenever time permits!

Assessment of Functional Abilities in People With Aphasia
Jacqueline Hinckley, PhD, CCC-SLP 

To best help people with aphasia, clinicians need to go beyond traditional assessments. Utilizing personally relevant, functional assessments allows clinicians to design and select the most relevant interventions and make the most appropriate recommendations for next steps for a person with aphasia. This session will provide step-by-step examples of how best to use existing assessments and create personally relevant informal assessments to meet the individual needs of each client.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss the steps in selecting a relevant functional assessment for a client with aphasia
  • describe the factors that help determine what a client will be able to do in daily life during and following intervention

Moving Beyond Single Words: What We Can Learn From Discourse
Heather Harris Wright, PhD, CCC-SLP

Discourse is defined as any language beyond the boundaries of utterances. It allows people to communicate, create, share feelings, and make plans for the future. Yet discourse requires more than simply generating a continuous stream of linguistic elements. This session will discuss how and why results of single word-level assessments are not applicable to discourse-level performance in people with aphasia and will highlight assessments that are meaningful at the discourse level. Recognizing this distinction can help clinicians select appropriate assessments and plan effective treatment to help people with aphasia at the discourse level.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe advantages of assessment at the discourse level
  • explain different methods for measuring lexical features at the discourse level
  • select appropriate assessments to target discourse-level improvements

A Structure for Successful Group Treatment for Aphasia
Suzanne M. Coyle, MA, CCC-SLP

Group treatment is a tried and evidence-supported practice, particularly for individuals with certain neurogenic disorders. However, group treatment for individuals with aphasia is not prevalent in current clinical practice. This session will bridge this gap between proven efficacy and clinical practice by presenting a practical, efficient, and systematic group treatment approach based on research and clinical experience. The presenter will discuss a successful hierarchical structure for designing and implementing aphasia group treatment and discuss how it can be applied across aphasia severity levels and clinical settings.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss the efficacy of group treatment for individuals with aphasia
  • describe the components of a successful hierarchical aphasia group treatment plan
  • explain applicability of a hierarchical group treatment plan to varying levels of aphasia severity

Word Retrieval Training With Nouns and Verbs: Treatments for Facilitating Generalization
Lisa Edmonds, PhD, CCC-SLP

Word retrieval is a fundamental issue for people with aphasia. This session will explore how to treat word retrieval deficits—and encourage generalization—using nouns and verbs. The session will discuss how to integrate writing into treatment to improve written as well as spoken word retrieval. The session will also address goal writing and various outcome measures that can be used to evaluate word retrieval at the single-word level, in sentences, and in discourse.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • write goals that incorporate multiple levels of word retrieval (single words, sentences, and discourse-level) for trained items as well as untrained items
  • adapt fundamental principles of word retrieval treatments with nouns and verbs to different presentations of aphasia (e.g., more severe vs. mild)
  • incorporate writing into treatment, goal writing, and measuring outcomes

Community Reintegration for Individuals With Aphasia
Darlene S. Williamson, MA, CCC-SLP

SLPs who provide services to adults with aphasia often grapple with trying to meet their clients’ communication needs while complying with reimbursement guidelines. This is particularly challenging in the chronic phase of the condition when successful community participation is paramount to the individual's quality of life. This session will provide practical tips to help structure efficacious intervention programs that best enable people with aphasia to experience everyday interactions and activities (both within and outside third-party reimbursement).

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • assess communication and ancillary needs of individuals with aphasia to facilitate community reintegration
  • infuse treatment targets that promote community reintegration into everyday practice, including existing approaches, education, advocacy, and involvement of an individual’s support system
  • identify resources and community partnerships that facilitate treatment goals

Bilingual Adults With Aphasia: Assessment and Treatment
Teresa Gray, PhD, CCC-SLP

This session will explore the theoretical foundation of language processing in bilingual adults with aphasia as well as discuss strategies for providing appropriate and effective assessments and interventions for these individuals.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • explain language processing in bilingual adults with aphasia
  • develop and implement an assessment protocol for a bilingual patient with aphasia
  • develop and implement a treatment program for a bilingual patient with aphasia

Medicare and Aphasia Treatment Models
Tim Nanof, MSW

This session will discuss key considerations for SLPs when providing treatment to patients enrolled in the Medicare program. The presenter will address determining medical necessity and the need for skilled care, provider enrollment, compliance, billing, supervision, and documentation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the requirements for treating Medicare beneficiaries
  • define what constitutes skilled care
  • explain Medicare’s standards for medical necessity

Computer-Based Treatment Approaches for Aphasia
Jaime B. Lee, PhD, CCC-SLP (Jaime Lee will be on leave during the conference, so the live chat for this session will be with Julia Carpenter, MA, CCC-SLP.)

Evidence suggests that intensive treatment is more efficacious than less-frequent treatment, but intensive speech-language intervention for aphasia is costly for individuals and time-consuming for clinicians. Computer-based treatments provide an option for delivering treatment with greater intensity over longer periods than what is feasible in our current service delivery model. This session will discuss computer-based aphasia treatment approaches, which target oral expression, reading comprehension, and written expression.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify computer-based treatment options for aphasia
  • describe the evidence to support particular computer-based interventions

AAC for Adults With Aphasia
Sarah E. Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP

This session will review current evidence related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies and discuss how to modify them to meet the needs of adults with aphasia. The presenter will describe how to implement a multimodal intervention program to facilitate resolution of communication breakdowns.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • modify AAC strategies to meet the needs of individuals who have aphasia
  • implement multimodal intervention aimed at improving communication breakdown resolution

Psychosocial Impacts of Aphasia
Tami Howe, PhD, CCC-SLP

Aphasia can have negative impacts on an individual's post-stroke psychosocial well-being as well as on the family members of the person who acquired the communication disorder. This session will discuss these potential impacts and identify strategies speech-language pathologists can use to address them.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list possible psychosocial impacts of aphasia on adults and their family members
  • utilize strategies to address the psychosocial impacts of aphasia on individuals with the communication disorder
  • apply strategies to address the psychosocial impacts of aphasia on family members

The Special Management Needs of Individuals With Severe Aphasia
Audrey Holland, PhD, CCC-SLP

The techniques clinicians select to treat and manage aphasia depend on the severity of the disorder for the particular individual. This session will explore the special management and intervention needs of the subgroup of individuals with severe aphasia.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list the unique challenges of people with severe aphasia, and state how to gear treatment to those challenges
  • apply approaches discussed in the session to the management and treatment of severe aphasia

Nonverbal Cognition in People With Aphasia: Implications for Treatment Planning
Marjorie L. Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP

People with post-stroke aphasia often have impairments in the domain of nonverbal cognition in addition to their language impairments. Without attention to nonverbal cognition, language-focused treatment plans for people with aphasia are not as effective as they could be. This session will explore evidence that supports targeting nonverbal cognition as part of treatment planning and will discuss how to design an intervention plan that improves outcomes in both the cognition and language domains.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • state how nonverbal cognitive deficits affect treatment outcomes in people with aphasia
  • plan an assessment that includes nonverbal cognitive areas as well as language
  • describe how treatment can address nonverbal cognitive impairments while also addressing communication deficits in people with aphasia

Neuroplasticity and Medical Management in Aphasia
Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD

Neuroplasticity is the basis of aphasia recovery, and new medical interventions are emerging that may someday allow us to augment neuroplasticity. At the same time, recovery from aphasia is typically incomplete, leaving individuals with lifelong communication difficulties, and appropriate medical management may contribute to optimal outcomes. However, best practices for medical management of aphasia have not yet been clearly established. In this session, the presenter will discuss what is known about brain changes in aphasia and outline an approach to medical management that suggests best practices and includes emerging methods for enhancing plasticity.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss common medical complications and comorbidities that may affect recovery from post-stroke aphasia
  • list some of the medications that can be used for aphasia
  • describe emerging methods aiming to enhance plasticity and how to identify appropriate research studies that use these methods

Assessment and Management of Auditory Comprehension Deficits in Aphasia
Janet P. Patterson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Deficits in auditory comprehension in people who have aphasia are not uncommon and can adversely affect an individual’s everyday communication and understanding of—and participation in—the rehabilitation process. This session will provide an overview of available tools to assess the characteristics and severity of auditory comprehension deficits and provide guidance for selecting the right standardized and nonstandardized assessments, taking into account patient preference, co-existing cognitive and attention deficits, and additional language deficits. The presenter will also identify available treatment protocols—including self-monitoring strategies, semantic-based interventions, and cognitive and attention-based interventions—and discuss best practices for selecting the most appropriate treatment and documenting behavior change.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list at least five assessment tools to examine auditory comprehension deficits and identify each as primarily impairment-based or activity-/participation-based
  • list at least five treatment techniques for auditory comprehension deficits and identify the behavioral focus and dependent variable associated with each technique
  • describe the role auditory comprehension skills play in participating in a treatment program

Perspectives on Aphasia: Communication Breakdowns in Medical Settings
David Dow, Carol Dow-Richards, and John Schultz, MD

In this session, a physician, a stroke survivor, and a caretaker will share insights and solutions to support patient care for those with aphasia. Speakers will discuss ways to facilitate communication between medical teams and people with aphasia to help minimize communication breakdowns that may compromise patient care. Speakers will also provide tips and strategies to help patients and their families self-advocate to improve patient care.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify and utilize three strategies to improve communication between the medical team and the staff
  • list three ways patients can self-advocate

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