Computers can be intimidating, even if you haven't had a stroke or brain injury. Here are a few tips on making that first experience a positive and rewarding one, for all involved.
- Mark important keys on the keyboard (such as the space bar and enter key) with colored tape, to make them easy to spot. If you don't have colored tape handy, a few magic markers and some masking tape will do.
- If necessary, purchase commercially-available large-type keyboard stickers (ZoomCaps from Don Johnston, $14.95 for upper case and $19.95 for lower case, either white on black or black on beige).
- Introduce the task as if it were a pencil and paper task first, pointing to items on the screen, and encouraging the client to point to the screen as well. Be sure they grasp the language aspect of the task before you teach the computer aspect of the task.
- Demonstrate the computer task several times
- Provide hand-over-hand assistance for the first few items.
- Step back and provide supportive encouragement while you let the client try a few on their own.
- If the client gets a wrong answer, positively reinforce that they are using the computer correctly.
- Set the task options for a difficulty level which results in 65-90% accuracy.
- CASE PRESENTATION
- PRODUCT DEMOS – SEE ATTACHED INFORMATION SHEETS FOR PROGRAM OPTIONS
- Aphasia Tutor 1&2
- Aphasia Tutor 3&4
- Sights & Sounds
- Direction Following Out Loud
- Categorization and Relationships
- Traffic Sign Tutor
- Speech Pacer
- Rehab Resources CD-Rom
- BUILDING A RESOURCE FILE FOR YOUR PATIENTS
- How involved do you want to be?
- What to look for in software
- Contacting companies/getting brochures
CASE STUDY: APHASIA SOFTWARE
Patient is a 39 year old male, s/p left CVA 3/26/97, with severe aphasia crossing all modalities. He had no motoric deficits from the CVA, so was discharged directly from acute care to home with his parents. Pre-morbidly, he was a computer programmer.
Initial eval data:
Single word comprehension/picture identification: 75%
Yes/No questions: 65%
1-step instructions: 0%
Spontaneous Naming: 0%
Sentence Completion: 0%
Word repetition: 90%
Picture-word matching: 96%
Sentence Comprehension: 70%
Single word naming: 0%
Outpatient treatment commenced at a frequency of twice per week, for 1-hour sessions, on 5/1/97. Because the patient was computer literate, and was still able to install software and use familiar Windows-based programs, focus in the clinic was on verbal expression and auditory comprehension, and the patient independently targeted written naming and reading skills at home. He used Aphasia Tutor 1 and Aphasia Tutor 2 from Bungalow Software. He brought printouts of his performance data to each treatment session, which were used to determine when he should progress to the next level. He was encouraged to proceed quickly to the fill-in levels, and resort to multiple choice only after 2 failed attempts at typing the words. During a re-evaluation 7/26/97 (after 20 treatment sessions, and 2 months of home computer practice with aphasia software), the patient indicated with gesture and verbalization that he noticed that writing words he had practiced on the computer was far easier than words he had not practiced. Overall, he had made the following progress:
AUDITORY COMPREHENSION INITIAL PROGRESS
Single word comprehension: 75% 100%
Yes/No questions: 65% 80%
1-step instructions: 0% 90%
Spontaneous Naming: 0% 40%
Sentence Completion: 0% 70%
Word repetition: 90% 90%
Picture-word matching: 96% 100%
Sentence Comprehension: 70% 100%
WRITTEN LANGUAGE: INITIAL PROGRESS PROGRESS