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Monday, October 25, 2010

Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program - Module 2
The Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program (BCAT) takes advantage of the powerful recovery and re-connective potential of brain plasticity.  BCAT brings together the best of aphasia research, neuroscience, learning theory and the clinical expertise of our speech/language pathologists (SLP). We blend this combination with the determination and effort or the person with aphasia using our innovative techniques and tools to achieve his/her goals.  To view some examples of our client's outcomes visit .
BCAT consists of 15 component treatment modules, 61 guiding treatment principles, 88 unique treatment protocols (sets of activities with specific goals) with accompanying materials; and 2 software programs with over 500 stimulus sets.

 The component treatment modules include:
 1. The Viking Module for Apraxia
 2. Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds
 3. The AphasiaPhonics Module for Phonological Elements of Aphasia
 4. The Lexical -- Semantic Module for Word Recall Anomia
 5. The Speaking in Sentences Module for Syntactic Reconnection
 6. The Prosody Module for Sentence Intonation, Word Stress and Phrasal   timing
 7. Keyboarding for Alexia, Agraphia and Screen Literacy
 8. The Numerology Module for Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers and Concepts
 9. The Speech Acts Module for Intent and Communicative Responsiveness
10. The Pragmatics Module for Language In Action
11. The Cognitive Underpinnings Module for Memory, Attention and Mental 13. Resource Allocation
12. The Morphing Module for Morphological Difficulties
13. The Reading Module for Acquired Alexia
14. The Movement Module for Limb Apraxia
15. Groups for Peer Engagement, Practice and Support

For more information visit or contact us at 724.494.2534 or email .

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This is the second in a series of newsletters that explain in more detail each of the component modules of our Brain Compatible Aphasia Treatment Program (BCAT).  Our second topic, in the series, is the Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds Module. 

Our clients who are successful with the Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds Module can do just that -- think in sounds.  They are able to independently think of a word, hear that word in their heads, and then write the word in symbols that represent the sounds.  This ability is a powerful tool for the person with aphasia and his/her SLP during the treatment process and for the client during independent practice.  
The clinical benefits in this activity are:
1. It provides a common language for the SLP and clients to share.  This saves treatment time and facilitates feedback.
2. It helps the client to think in sounds1.
3. It helps the client to reconnect normal mental processes for decoding and encoding 2, 3. 
4. It improves the client's ability to develop phoneme sequence knowledge 2.
5. It compensates for weakness in phonological working memory.
6. It provides a platform to address phonological working memory problems 4.

The clinical goals for the Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds module are --
Using the phonetic symbols, the client will be able to 5:
1. type the phonetic symbols from short term working memory.
2. type the type the phonetic symbols for a spoken vowel.
3. type the phonetic symbols for a spoken consonant.
4. type the phonetic symbols for a spoken word.
5. type the phonetic symbols for a written word.
6. type the phonetic symbols for a thought.
7. type the phonetic symbols for a gesture.
8. type the phonetic symbols for a semantic web target stimulus.

Simply put, the client learns to transcribe printed words into phonetic symbols using the phonetic chart. This chart uses a modified version of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  We have changed some of the IPA symbols into more transparent icons that are easier for clients to recognize and learn.  This protocol allows us to attack phonological aphasia in new ways.  The module focuses on the client working from his/her own thought processes with the elimination of imitation, closure tasks and external cueing.   Clients gain appreciation of words as communicative symbols.  They come to realize that letters are things we write with our hands and sounds are things we say with our mouths. 
If you feel that your clients may benefit from this type of program, or if you would like to consult with us for its use on your practice, email us at or call 724.494.2534
2 Kendall, Diane, Rosenbek, John, Heilman, Kenneth, Conway, Tim, Klenberg, Karen, Gonzalez Rothi, Leslie, and Nadeau, Stepehn ; Phoneme-based rehabilitation of anomia in aphasia, Brain and Language, 105, (2008) 1-17
3 Corsten, S., Mende, M., Cholewa, J,. and Huber, W., Treatment of input and output phonology in aphasia: A single case study,
Aphasiology, Vol. 21, No. 6-8. (2007), pp. 587-603. 
4 Van Gleek, Anne, Gilla Ronald, and Hoffman, LaVae, Training in phonological awareness generalizes to phonological working memory: a preliminary investigation, Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, The, Fall, 2006
5 Joly-Pottuz, Mercier, Melina, Laynaurdm Aurelie, and Habib, Micheal, Combined auditory and articulatory training improves phonological deficit in children with dyslexia,  Submitted to Neuropsychological Rehabilitation  , May 2007

The Full Phoneticize for Thinking in Sounds Module
a.    Phoenticize -- concepts
b.    Phoenticize -- the symbols
c.     Phoenticize -- the vowels
                                               i.     Phoenticize -- the long vowels
                                             ii.     Phoenticize -- the long-short vowel distinction
                                            iii.     Phoenticize -- the vowels around the mouth
d.    Phoenticize -- what is that vowel in the middle?
e.    Phoenticize -- the consonants
f.      Phoenticize - numbers
g.    Phoenticize -- words to sounds
h.    Phoenticize -- thoughts to sounds
i.      Phoenticize --sounds to words
j.      Phoenticize --sounds to gestures
k.     Phoenticize -- sound embedded verbs
l.      Phoenticize - prosody
m.  Phoenticize - homonyms
n.    Phoenticize -- past tense irregular verbs
o.    Phoenticize -- Phrabble
p.    Phoenticize -- phonetic anagram
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