Aphasia and Adult Neurogenic Communication Disorders Sample Syllabi

Course Description

The array of communication disorders that result from neurological impairment in adults will be presented. Special emphasis will be provided to the aphasias, right hemisphere impairment, traumatic brain injury, and the dementias. Motor speech disorders, the dysarthrias and apraxias, will also be reviewed. Medical aspects of neurological rehabilitation and neuroimaging will be introduced. Etiological factors that affect varied cultural groups (e.g., hypertension, sickle cell disease, substance abuse) will be discussed. Assessment, treatment, and management issues with varied clinical and cultural populations will be focused on.

Course Objectives

Students will-

  • demonstrate knowledge of underlying neurophysiological mechanisms for adult communication;
  • differentiate adult neurogenic communication disorders by site of lesion, overall etiology, and behavioral sequalae;
  • list a variety of assessment tools and strategies available;
  • develop protocols for a variety of adult communication disorders;
  • describe a variety of treatment strategies for adult communication disorders;
  • demonstrate emerging knowledge of motor speech disorders in adults;
  • demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge via completion of a midterm and final examinations;
  • demonstrate understanding of the assessment process via in-person clinical observation in the acute care setting.

Learning Objectives/KASA Expected Outcomes

1 Define language as a behavioral system comprising content (semantics), form (phonology, morphology, syntax), and use (pragmatics).

1a/IIIb-17-24 Identify linguistic bases of language function (Procedural and structural foundations of form, content/use).

2/IIIb-17-24, III-d, 125- Delineate the interaction of cognitive, psychosocial, and sensorimotor behavioral systems with language and the implications of these interactions for the cause, maintenance and treatment of speech and language disorders.

3/III-d, 125- Identify theories defining speech and language and its component subsystems and apply these theories to assessment and intervention planning.

4, III-d, 125- Describe theories of language learning (habilitation and rehabilitation) in children and adults, and how these theories apply to assessment and intervention planning.

5/IIIb-17-24 Describe developmental stages of normal speech, language, communication development (form/content/use) in mainstream and cross culturally (including BEV, Asian, Mainstream, Latino, Deaf).

6/IIIb-17-24 Identify variations in language behavior (dialects, code switching) due to gender and social-cultural and linguistic diversity (5).

7/IIIb-26-33, III-d, Explicate the impact of a variety of etiologic factors on swallowing mechanisms.

8 Recognize the medical model for SLP services in acute care, rehabilitation, and long-term care settings.

8a/IIIa, IIIb, 17-24 Describe the anatomic and neuromuscular systems involved in respiration, phonation, resonation, articulation, hearing, and swallowing.

9 Phonetic analysis of standard and dialectic American English.

10 Models of speech-sound production and perception.

11 Be familiar with alternative means of communication (augmentative/assistive communication).

12a 10. Possess skills in oral and written communication sufficient for entry into professional practice.

12b Demonstrate the speaking and listening ability necessary for effective clinical and professional interaction with clients/patients and their relevant others.

12c Be able to write and comprehend technical reports, diagnostic and treatment reports, treatment plans, and professional correspondence.

14/IIIA-12-17 Comprehend basic principles of (1) biological sciences, (2) physical sciences, (3) social/ behavioral sciences, and (4) mathematics.

15 Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in the areas of basic human communication processes.

16/III-c Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of the following speech, language, hearing, and communication disorders and differences and swallowing disorders, including their etiologies, characteristics, and anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, linguistic and cultural correlates and principles and methods of prevention and assessment, and intervention.

16a/IIIc-35-44 - articulation.

16b/III-c, 45-54 - fluency.

16c, III-c, 55-64 - voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation.

16d, III-c, 65-74 - receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and manual modalities.

16f, III-c, 75-84 - hearing, including the impact on speech and language.

16h, IIIc-95-104 - cognitive aspects of communication (Piagetian-Cognitive organization, development, problem solving), Information processes (modalities, levels of processing, processes-e.g., attention, memory, sequencing, executive functioning).

16i, IIIc, 106-114 - social aspects of communication (including oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques and assistive technologies).

17 Demonstrate knowledge of standards of ethical conduct.

18 Demonstrate knowledge of processes used in research and the integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical practice.

19 Identify and use appropriate methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis.

19a Identify relevant variables in research design.

20 Know sources of research information and how to gain access to this information.

21 Have had experience critically evaluating and incorporating research relevant to professional practice.

22 Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary issues, including current professional clinical standards, accreditation requirements, and ASHA practice policies and guidelines; relevant legislation and regulations pertaining to students and adults with communication disorders; knowledge of policy and procedures at the federal, state, and local level; current models of evaluation and intervention; business practices; and reimbursement issue.

25 Planning of goals and procedures.

26 Identify the linguistic, neuropsychological, cognitive, sociocultural dimensions of bilingualism.

27 Identify principles of collaboration among allied professionals, client, families in clinical practice.

28 Distinguish between a language disorder and linguistic variation within culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

29 Write diagnostic reports. Modify written reports with reference to clinical context and target of report.

30 Write recommendations for service (including long and short term goals).

32 Collect case history information and integrate information from clients/patients, family, caregivers, teachers, relevant others, and other professionals.

33 Select and administer appropriate evaluation procedures, such as behavioral observations, standardized tests, and instrumental procedures with explicit reference to (a) theories defining language and its components, (b) consideration of reliability, validity, normative data, (c) cultural variables.

35 Adapt evaluation procedures to meet client/patient needs.

36 Interpret, integrate, and synthesize all information within a diagnostic report, developing diagnoses and making appropriate recommendations for intervention.

38 Complete administrative and reporting functions necessary to support evaluation.

41 Develop intervention goals and procedures with reference to the child's/adults cultural and linguistic background, explicit theories defining language and its components, utilizing developmental taxonomies in the development of intervention plans.

50 Adhere to the ASHA Code of Ethics and behave professionally.

Required Text

Chapey, R. (2001). Language intervention strategies in aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders (4th ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Recommended Readings

Reyes, B. (1995). Considerations in the assessment and treatment of neurogenic communication disorders in bilingual adults. In H. Kayser (Ed.), Bilingual speech-language pathology: An Hispanic focus. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group.

Wallace, G. (1997). Multicultural neurogenics: A resource for speech-language pathologists. San Antonio, TX: Communication Skills Builders, TX.

Class Outline

Class 1: Introduction.

  • History of study of aphasia

Class 2: Neuroanatomical Perspectives

  • Neuropathology of the aphasias

Class 3: The Aphasias

  • Neurological disturbances associated with aphasia
  • Language processing models
  • Classification systems

Class 4: The Aphasias (cont'd)

Class 5: Language Disturbances Secondary to Right Hemisphere Impairment

  • Subcortical aphasia syndromes

Class 6: Assessment of Aphasia and Related Disorders

  • Multicultural perspectives

Class 7: Assessment of Aphasia and Related Disorders (cont'd)

  • Test critiques presentations due

Class 8: Midterm Examination

Class 9: Speech-Language Disturbances Associated with Traumatic Brain Injury

Class 10: Context for Treatment

  • Treatment of adult communication disorders

Class 11: Treatment (continued)

  • Introduction to motor speech disorders
  • Observation/reaction paper treatment abstract

Class 12: Motor Speech Disorders

  • The dysarthrias
  • The apraxias

Class 13: Language Disturbances in Dementia

  • General treatment/management issues
  • Final Examination


Test Critiques

Verbal presentations (with written hand-out) on select adult speech-language assessment batteries. Class will be grouped for cooperative project completion.


Each student will be expected to hand in 1 abstract on research articles related to the treatment of varied disorders discussed in class. This will be no longer than 1.5 pages long and will include Abstract/Summary (1 page) and a Critique of the article (1/2 page). You must staple the article to your abstract.

Observation/Reaction Paper

Each student will conduct an in-person observation at a clinical facility. Written summary and reaction will be submitted.

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