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Our Aphasia Therapy Program is an intensive, full day outpatient program that meets three days a week. For residents of our Brain Injury or Stroke Residential Program at Traurig House the program is five days a week. By using a wide range of therapies and innovative tools, our specially trained staff provides individualized care and therapy to help each patient maximize his or her functional communications skills and sense of well-being. The program includes a combination of group sessions and individual therapy, based on the specific needs of each participant.
The number of participants for each session is kept small to allow for greater interaction between participants and staff. Therapy groups include: Communications Group, Social Communication Lunch Group and Psychosocial Group. Individual therapies may include Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Psychology. Everyday activities, such as meal planning and preparation, as well as the latest technology are used to increase each patient’s skills and independence. Family members are encouraged to take an active role.
Gaylord's two outpatient programs for acquired brain injury are the Aphasia and Cognitive Therapy Programs. Each program focuses on different issues and is available both to outpatients from the community and residents of Traurig House. This video provides an overview of each program and the skills that are focused on to help patients with traumatic brain injury.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language. It does not affect intelligence, however. Patients with aphasia have an impaired ability to speak and understand others; most also experience difficulty in reading and writing. The inability to communicate contributes to frustration, a sense of isolation, diminished self worth, and difficulty in functioning at work and at home. Gaylord’s Aphasia Therapy Program is designed to strengthen patients’ communication skills and help them reconnect with their loved ones and communities.
Are all cases of aphasia alike?
No. There are many types of aphasia. Some people have difficulty speaking. Others may struggle to follow a conversation. For some, aphasia is fairly mild and might not even be noticed by others initially. In some patients, however, aphasia can be very severe, affecting their ability to speak, write, read and listen. While specific symptoms vary greatly, all people with aphasia have difficulty communicating.
Are there tips for communicating with someone who has aphasia?
Yes. Give the person time to speak, and do not finish their sentences unless you’re asked to do so. Be sensitive to background noise that can add to confusion. Turn off a radio or TV that might be a “competing” with your attempts to communicate. Be open to using means of communicating other than speech – drawings and/or hand gestures, for example. Confirm that you are communicating successfully.
There are also simple techniques you can use to confirm that you’re communicating successfully. For example, you can use cards with the words “Yes” or “No” printed on them to confirm that verbal responses match intentions. You can ask the same questions several times. In some situations, like trying to determine what kind of snack the person might want, you can simply ask them to point to the object, or to a picture, to verify a choice.
Who is an appropriate candidate for the Aphasia Therapy Program?
Any patient who is experiencing difficulty communicating after a neurological event – such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury – may be an appropriate candidate for Gaylord’s Aphasia Therapy Program. A referral from a primary care physician, neurologist or other medical professional is typically required. To be eligible for the Program, patients must meet the following criteria:
Is the Program successful?
Yes. Typically, patients who have received treatment in Gaylord’s Aphasia Therapy Program enjoy improved auditory comprehension, verbal expression, motor speech and written expression. 100% of our patients report that they have benefitted from the Program.
Where do the Program’s participants come from?
Patients enrolled in the Aphasia Therapy Program are drawn from various inpatient settings, Gaylord’s Traurig Transitional Living Center, and the general community.
Will medical insurance cover treatment?
Most commercial health insurance plans (as well as Medicaid) will cover Gaylord’s Aphasia Therapy Program. Gaylord’s staff can work with you to verify coverage, or discuss treatment costs that may not be covered by insurance.
More Aphasia Information
Outpatient Appointments: (203) 284-2888
Outpatient Fax: (203) 294-8705
Program Coordinator: (203) 284-2800, extension 3991